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Fellows Find: Infinite Jest at 20

By Daniel Sinykin

Dan Sinykin, a visiting assistant professor at Grinnell College, visited the Ransom Center during the summer of 2014 to research his dissertation After the Boom: Apocalypse and Economics in American Literature of the Neoliberal Period. Sinykin was the recipient of a dissertation fellowship.

 

On February 23, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest turns 20. The novel was an instant hit and made Wallace a literary superstar—a winning reception that began with an innovative hype campaign on the part of the publisher, Little, Brown, which sent a series of postcards to thousands of reviewers and booksellers promising, among other things, “infinite pleasure.”

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Fellows Find: Revelations hidden on post-its, in book flaps, and in the margins of the papers in David Foster Wallace’s archive

By Stephen Burn

Stephen J. Burn, a Reader in American Literature after 1945 at the University of Glasgow, visited the Ransom Center during the spring of 2011 to research his book-in-progress, Neurofiction: the Contemporary American Novel and the Brain (Don DeLillo/ David Foster Wallace). Burn’s research was supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship Endowment.

 

When I first visited the Harry Ransom Center in August of 2008, I wasn’t looking for David Foster Wallace. I’d just finished revising a book that read Wallace alongside his contemporaries Jonathan Franzen and Richard Powers (Jonathan Franzen at the End of Postmodernism), and was putting together a blueprint for a new book that I planned to build out of the Center’s archive of Don DeLillo’s assorted drafts and research materials. Read more

Fellow finds a kindred spirit in Shakespearean actor-manager Donald Wolfit

By Kathleen Telling

Laurence Raw obtained a Fleur Cowles Fellowship to study at the Ransom Center in Spring 2011. He consulted the papers of British actor Donald Wolfit, which the Center acquired in the early 1990s. Comprising prompt books, stage plots, photographs, letters, diaries, and other ephemera, the Wolfit archive is the largest resource devoted to the actor anywhere. Raw is a professor of English at Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey. Read more

Fellows Find: Manuscripts reveal internal battles of Civil War novelists writing outside the “moonlight and magnolias” school

By Harry Ransom Center

Dr. Niall Munro, Senior Lecturer in American Literature at Oxford Brookes University, was a fellow at the Ransom Center during the summer of 2015. His research was supported by the Fred W. Todd Southern Literature Endowment Fund. Munro is at work on a book entitled “Our only ‘felt’ history”: American modernism and the Civil War. While at the Ransom Center, Munro accessed the collections of Evelyn Scott and Stark Young. Read more

Fellows Find: Doris Lessing correspondence deepens insight into The Grass is Singing

By Harry Ransom Center

“Have you had a look in the Knopf collection?” Rick Watson, the head of reference services at the Ransom Center, sounded casual, and I wasn’t sure I had time to take the detour he was suggesting.

I spent a month at the Ransom Center last year, working mainly with the extensive Doris Lessing archive. Read more