University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Steven Moore:

A Preliminary Inventory of His David Foster Wallace Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Moore, Steven, 1951-
Title: Steven Moore Collection of David Foster Wallace
Dates: 1987-2010
Abstract: The Steven Moore Collection of David Foster Wallace details a personal and professional relationship between the two author-scholars primarily through Wallace's letters to Moore and Moore's reading notes on Wallace's work.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-5268
Extent: 4 document boxes, 1 oversize box (3.36 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Scope and Contents

The Steven Moore Collection of David Foster Wallace details a personal and professional relationship between the two author-scholars primarily through Wallace's letters to Moore and Moore's reading notes on Wallace's work. The collection is organized in four series: Series I. Correspondence, 1987-2004, undated; Series II. Works, 1989-2004; Series III. Published material, 1993-2010; and Series IV. Works by others, 2003-2010.

Series I. contains forty handwritten and typed letters, postcards, and notes (1987-2004) from Wallace to Moore revealing a growing friendship and an increasing trust by Wallace in Moore's opinion and editorial input. The letters discuss various pieces of writing including their own, their writing and teaching careers, and personal matters such as Wallace's frustrations with his busy schedule and a physical altercation he had with a graduate student concerning David Markson's Wittgenstein's Mistress. Additional letters from Wallace to Moore are located with Wallace's drafts in Series II. Series I. also contains photocopies of seventeen Wallace letters (1990-2001) to Markson that mainly discuss writing and other professional activities, at times providing insight into Wallace's appreciation of Markson's writing. The penciled notes on some of these letters are Moore's.

Series II. contains typescript drafts of works that Wallace sought Moore's opinion on. Most of the drafts are photocopies of originals Wallace sent to his publisher or agent except for the draft of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, which is a printout Wallace made from his own computer. Wallace sent letters or notes with five of the drafts and wrote notes to Moore on the corresponding envelopes of the drafts of Brief Interviews and E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction. The series also contains Moore's reading notes on Brief Interviews and Infinite Jest, as well as a photocopy of Moore's two-page letter recommending cuts from the latter which Wallace had requested. Moore's scattered notes are present in the margins of the Infinite Jest draft.

Series III. contains periodicals (1993-2010) with Wallace stories, essays, book reviews, and interviews.

Series IV. contains works by others such as reviews, scholarly articles and presentations, in-memoriam essays, and interviews with Wallace acquaintances.



Open for research

Related Material

Additional Wallace materials at the Ransom Center are located in the David Foster Wallace Papers, the David Foster Wallace Collection, the Bonnie Nadell Collection of David Foster Wallace, the Don DeLillo Papers, and the James Linville Paris Review Collection.

Separated Material

Thirty-four books, including many advance reading copies and uncorrected proofs, by and about David Foster Wallace are cataloged separately and housed in the Ransom Center Library. A single CD-R containing a 2006 study of Infinite Jest by Greg Carlisle was transferred to the Ransom Center's Electronic Records Collection.

Administrative Information


Purchase, 2012 (2012-01-010-P)

Processed by:

Stephen Cooper, 2012

Container List

Series I. Correspondence, 1987-2004, undated

1.1 To David Markson (photocopies given by Markson to Steven Moore), 1990-2001
1.2-1.3 To Steven Moore, 1987-2004
1.4 To Thomas Stewart, 1987, with letter from Iva Ashner to Steven Moore, 1989

Series II. Works, 1989-2004

1.5-1.7 Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (short story collection, 1999), typescript drafts, with Moore notes, 1997-1998
1.8-1.9 Consider the Lobster and Other Essays (essay collection, 2005), typescript draft, 2004
1.10 E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction (essay, 1993), typescript draft, 1990, with typed note from Wallace to Moore
osb 5 Host (essay, 2005), photocopy typescript draft, 2004
2.1-2.4 Infinite Jest (novel, 1996), 'First Two Sections' photocopy typescript draft,' given to SM 12/3/93,' with notes and letter (1994) from Moore to Wallace suggesting revisions
2.5 Order and Flux in Northampton (essay, 1991), photocopy typescript draft, undated, with typed letter from Wallace to Moore, 1989
3.1 Three Fragments from a Longer Thing, 'Fan-made transcript of reading at Lannan Readings & Conversations, Dec. 6, 2000'
3.2 Up, Simba! (essay, 2000), typescript draft, undated, with note from Wallace to Moore, 2000

Series III. Published Material, 1993-2010

3.3 Adult World (I) (Esquire, July 1998)
All That (The New Yorker, Dec. 14, 2009)
The Awakening of My Interest in Annular Systems (Harper's Magazine, September 1993)
The Best of the Prose Poem: An International Journal, edited by Peter Johnson (Rain Taxi Review of Books, Vol. 6 No. 1, Spring 2001), with readers' responses from Rain Taxi Vol. 6 No. 2
osb 5 Borges on the Couch (The New York Times Book Review, November 7, 2004)
3.3 The Compliance Branch (Harper's Magazine, February 2008)
Consider the Lobster (Gourmet, August 2004), with review of article by Alex Beam (Boston Globe, August 5, 2004)
3.4 The Depressed Person (Harper's Magazine, January 1998)
Federer as Religious Experience (Play, September 2006)
osb 5 Feodor's Guide (Voice Literary Supplement, April 1996, Number 144)
3.4 Good People (The New Yorker, Feb. 5, 2007)
High Regret Ink, from Infinite Jest (Puncture, Number 35 Spring 1996)
Host (The Atlantic, April 2005)
3.5 Interviews (various publications, 1993-2003)
It All Gets Quite Tricky (Harper's Magazine, November 2008)
Just Asking (The Atlantic, November 2007)
Laughing with Kafka (Harper's Magazine, July 1998)
Passion, Digitally (The New York Times Magazine, September 29, 1996)
3.6 Neither Adult Nor Entertainment (Premiere, September 1998), with readers' responses from Premiere, December 1998
A New Examiner (Harper's Magazine, September 2010)
The String Theory (Esquire, July 1996)
The View From Mrs. Thompson's (Rolling Stone, Issue 880, October 25, 2001)
The Weasel Twelve Monkeys and the Shrub (Rolling Stone, Issue 838, April 13, 2000)
osb 5 We're all–especially those of us who are educated. . . . [partial first line] (Rolling Stone, Issue 830/831, 30 Dec. 1999-6 Jan. 2000)

Series IV. Works by Others, 2003-2010

4.1-4.2, osb 5 Essays, interviews with acquaintances, presentations
4.3, osb 5 Reviews, publishing materials
5 Oversize box