We’re always up for a good literary artifact, so we were psyched to see this great find over at Electric Literature. This postcard from David Foster Wallace to Don DeLillo is exactly what we’d expect from the author — minus the actual card of course, though he assures DeLillo there’s “no offense intended” — cramped, long-winded and clever, in Wallace’s shouting-style handwriting. We’re amazed at how much he manages to fit in that tiny space: news and well wishes, of course, plus, among other missives, a very creative description of a palm tree, requests to take a peek at DeLillo’s new novel, and a report on Jonathan Franzen’s struggles with a feature on William Gaddis for The New Yorker. Even with all that, we’re sure he would have added footnotes if he could have.
9-1 (CARDS WERE GIFTS–NO OFFENSE INTENDED)
DEAR D2, I AM NOW A LICENSED CA DRIVER, WHICH FROM THE SENSE I GET IS OFFICIAL STATE-CITIZENSHIP IF ANYTHING HERE IS. THERE IS A PALM TREE IN MY BACK YARD THAT’S 11 1/2 FEET AROUND. A BRICK SHITHOUSE OF A PALM TREE. ¶ THANK YOU FOR YOUR NOTE. I HAVE NOT YET READ THE GADDIS, BUT I’M IN CONTACT WITH FRANZEN, WHO’S APPARENTLY BEEN CHARGED THE TASK OF A COMPREHENSIVE GADDIS PIECE BY THE NYer, AND IS ‘STRUGGLING’ WITH IT. ¶ THIS BLOODY MENGENLEHRE BOOK (IT INTIMIDATES ME THAT YOU KNOW THIS TERM) TURNS OUT NOT TO BE DONE — BOTH THE MATH-EDITOR AND THE GENERAL EDITOR WANT REPAIRS — OFTEN THEIR DEMANDS ARE MUTUALLY CONTRADICTORY. I WILL END UP HAVING SPENT 11 MONTHS FULL-TIME ON A PROJECT I’D PLANNED TO KNOCK OFF PART-TIME IN 4. I NEVER WANT TO SEE ANOTHER FOURIER SERIES AS LONG AS I LIVE. ¶ I’D LOVE A CHANCE TO EYEBALL YR. NEW NOVEL IF YOU DON’T OBJECT. AND I HOPE VALPARAISO IS IN GOOD HANDS WITH THE TROUPE.
DAVID WALLACE 🙂