Tuesday, September 14, 2010

DFW Archives Open

At the University of Texas at Austin. 34 boxes of his, including the first page of Infinite Jest and annotated copies of the books he read. I would love to see this stuff, especially his comments and doodles in the margins of the books in his collection, but it's strange to imagine what happens to all the stray pages, first drafts, notes, etc. after a writer dies. In Kafka's case, his entire writing career was spawned from his friend Max Brod ignoring his last request.
"Dearest Max, my last request: Everything I leave behind me ... in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others'), sketches, and so on, [is] to be burned unread."

Yeah, didn't happen, and a good thing, too -- because now we have Kafka. But I always wonder how much our hunger and curiosity as readers goes against the wishes of the writer themselves. On a related note, here's an interesting opinion piece vying for a dead writer's right to privacy, a la J.D. Salinger.

I don't know. Food for thought, as they say. Which reminds me, I'm hungry.

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