Where in the World Are DFW’s Self-Help Books?


Last spring, The Awl ran an excellent piece about David Foster Wallace’s “private self-help library” — just a small chunk of the three hundred-odd books from his personal library included in his recently-opened archives at the University of Texas at Austin’s Ransom Center. Now, The Awl reports that these titles — which, judging by the copious markings, Wallace read more than once — have inexplicably been removed from the collection. “It never occurred to me that Wallace’s estate would be in a position to rescind part of the sale of his documents to the Ransom Center; I wrote what I did under the assumption that these books would remain available to anyone who was interested in seeing them,” posts Maria Bustillos. “I was very sorry — or rather, entirely freaked out — to learn that that will no longer be the case.” Maybe there’s a good explanation for what happened, but we’re curious: what do you think DFW would make of this?