David Foster Wallace

Open Letter to David Foster Wallace's Literary Executor

To Whom it May Concern,

I don't yet know who might be inheriting the job of dealing the with David Foster Wallace Nachlass but whoever you are out there in the world, this is a request to you. Let me be frank and to the point: Let us see it all.

Not knowing how much remains unpublished of Wallace's work, not knowing what provisions he may have made or requests he may have left for whoever it falls to to see to the administration of his remaing material, I think it needs to be said that we want it, and that in my opinion there is no way that the publication of any juvenalia, unfinished manuscripts, rejected by the author incomplete essays, or abandoned novels will in any way harm the legacy of the greatest American writer of the last 50 years.

My reasons for believing this are as follows:

1.) Wallace's brilliance is fixed in literary history by his already published work. It would have been fixed by Infinite Jest alone, but that in concert with A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, Girl with Curious Hair, Oblivion and Everything and More (which has been unjustly panned in this writer's estimation) has established an unassailable legacy of fine literary output. Anything additional, published correctly and with the understood caveat that it may not be up to the author's standards for his own work, will only add to our understanding of a literary giant the understanding of whom should be the work of anyone who cares about American letters. In short, the publication of everything can do no damage.