The Howling Fantods

David Foster Wallace News and Resources Since March 97

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home News by Category DFW Archive Come On, Pilgrim: A Visit to the Archive

Come On, Pilgrim: A Visit to the Archive

Elizabeth Lopatto visits The Harry Ransom Centre's David Foster Wallace Archive and studies the drafts for DFW's Kenyon commencement speech in, Come On, Pilgrim:

A kind older librarian explains to me for what is the third time that day that she’ll be putting a box on a table, and I can have one folder at a time at my workspace. Due to the rush from South By, one of the folders I want is out. No one else seems to want the Kenyon College commencement address, so I settle in with it.
Wallace’s handwriting is small and neat, with distinctive capital “D”s generally written in one stroke that appears to begin at the bottom part of the straight line, go up, curve back around and release. He corrected a typewritten draft in red pen, green pen, and what appeared to be a blue marker.
A lot of the speech is tightened in this draft, with whole subclauses reduced to a word or two. Some paragraphs are cut entirely. One of the cut sections was an account of Wallace’s own commencement, some of which is overlaid in red ink with the word “stet”...
Continue reading



The Howling Fantods