DFW's Circled Words April 14, 2010 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Follow-up to this David Foster Wallace thread about his archives. Slate obtained the entire list of words circled by DFW in his American Heritage Dictionary.
posted by educatedslacker to MetaFilter-Related at 9:35 AM (22 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

There was a link in the original thread to a few that the Ransom Center had already published, but this is the list in its entirety—with most words linked to their definitions.
posted by educatedslacker at 9:38 AM on April 14, 2010


Everyone uses favorites differently.
posted by OmieWise at 9:42 AM on April 14, 2010


acephalous

This was my favorite word was a teenager. Dammit, now I miss him again.
posted by The Whelk at 9:54 AM on April 14, 2010


I love love love the love for DFW on Metafilter, but god - it's like going through the whole thing all over again every couple weeks.

But thanks. That list is awesome.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:57 AM on April 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


This list really is cool.

I know we've got lists of famous authors' libraries on LibraryThing. Several different places compile interviews with authors about their time management techniques. Then we have really interesting stuff from their archives like this. Is there a website which compiles all that sort of stuff together?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:07 AM on April 14, 2010


It sure would be nice to have the words with definitions all in one page without having to click a million times, but it's still a nice list.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:13 AM on April 14, 2010


I love love love the love for DFW on Metafilter, but god - it's like going through the whole thing all over again every couple weeks.

This. Or maybe it's just the definition of delft that's making me weepy....
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:39 AM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love shit like this. I took a Hemingway seminar and the professor compiled a book called "Hemingway's Reading." He was trying to get to Cuba to catalog Hemingway's library there, but for some reason couldn't go. He did get a visit from the FBI.

Now my question is: What is on Lady GaGa's ipod?
posted by marxchivist at 10:40 AM on April 14, 2010


Maybe this should be linked as a suggestions-list for usernames on the sign-up page.
posted by Kattullus at 10:49 AM on April 14, 2010


Honestly, these discoveries leave me numb. The man was so alive, so exuberantly present in his fiction and essays, and then suddenly he vanished. What we have in his stead is an inevitable mausoleum where we greedily shuffle through his first grade poetry and leafed-through books, read interviews that never previously came to print, in a mad rush to revive him. I miss him, I do, but poking through the miscellany of his life just reminds me of how much we've lost and how little we have left.
posted by zoomorphic at 11:18 AM on April 14, 2010 [4 favorites]


We have plenty left, and we're making more every day.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:27 AM on April 14, 2010


I love love love the love for DFW on Metafilter, but god - it's like going through the whole thing all over again every couple weeks.

Definitely like that for my wife and I. I can't imagine what it's like for his family and friends.

We discussed the Slate article this morning and both wondered about how DFW would take all this hagiography. RIP, dear sir.
posted by sleepy pete at 12:04 PM on April 14, 2010


Thanks a lot for the awesome link.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:53 PM on April 14, 2010


The really crushing part about thinking about how DFW would have handled the hagiography and tomb-raiding of his life is that you quickly realize that he is the best person you can think of to write a description of the recursive feedback of emotional states that handling would entail.

Moments like those are when I miss him the most. I want to describe my response to something I read or that occurs to me and the realization comes to me that I need him here to write about it for me. No one can crystallize some vague intuition into clear emotional impact like him.
posted by Babblesort at 1:29 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did he circle "tedious"?
posted by GuyZero at 1:30 PM on April 14, 2010


I was going to make a Gaga joke, too. But seriously - If I have to read a post about her every 15 minutes I feel no guilt about the DFW love. I miss him like I knew him, which I only did via his writing & interviews.

Also - I cannot recommend David Lipsky's book enough. I was lucky enough to score a galley a couple of months ago and had so many giggling-through-tears moments I stopped counting them. I can't fathom how weird it's going to be when "The Pale King" actually surfaces.
posted by mintcake! at 1:35 PM on April 14, 2010


Is it weird that I immediately scrolled down to the Es, and was disappointed to find that he didn't circle the word "Eskimo"? Or does that just make me old?
posted by ErikaB at 1:58 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


The really crushing part about thinking about how DFW would have handled the hagiography and tomb-raiding of his life is that you quickly realize that he is the best person you can think of to write a description of the recursive feedback of emotional states that handling would entail.

Every couple days I come across something and think, huh, I really want to know what DFW thought about that. That's an enviable thing for a writer to have, a voice whose opinions people respect that much. And then I realize I'm thinking it's unfair I can't read his thoughts on Obama or Sarah Palin or Rafa Nadal or those weird creepy ads with the dancing zombieish ladies that used to be all over the internet, while people who actually knew him are thinking it's unfair that their real live friend is gone, and I feel like a twit.
posted by sallybrown at 3:57 PM on April 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


"words in bold with no links were not in yahoo dictionary"
Iatric
Iatric, as related to Iatrogenesis

I bet someone has/could written something really interesting about people who "find what public/historic people have marked or noted or circled" in 'their' copies of books. (I have a vague recollection of once reading a biography or short story/article about someone who did this...
Possibly this... but I didn't think what I was remembering was about Hitler's library.
posted by infinite intimation at 8:52 PM on April 14, 2010


I have no idea why I did it, but I put all those words into a wordnik list.
posted by juv3nal at 9:43 PM on April 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't know about wordnik's list feature. Thanks for the pointer.
posted by Zed at 10:00 AM on April 15, 2010


Playboy just named UT-Austin its #1 party school, based in part on its acquisition of the Wallace archive. Special collections are sexy!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:09 PM on April 19, 2010


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