Tag Archives: Austin

#PhDTidBits David Foster Wallace Archive Visit No.4

Reviewing the notes taken during a second visit to the David Foster Wallace Archive at UT Austin in 2015, as I prepare for a fourth visit to The Harry Ransom Center.

An eerie finding: Wallace’s handwritten notes in the margins of Morris Berman’s Coming to Our Senses point to the logic that suggests, as Herbert Marcuse does, that intellectualism is the antithesis of fascism. And to back this up, Berman’s book cites the amount of PhDs amongst the Nazi hierarchy. Who knew?

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The End Of… another collection of personal musings whilst conducting research of the #davidfosterwallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin, TX (Day Fourteen)

Austin Bergstrom Airport – Atlanta – Manchester. The end of this year’s musings. Thanks to all those who have commented, liked, and engaged with the series.


#rodeoaustin – another collection of personal musings whilst conducting research of the #davidfosterwallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin, TX (Day Thirteen Entry Two)

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And then there’s the part of me that just can’t leave it at face value and has to go and add something that needn’t be added. As a person who lives on a plant-based diet, and who sees the wilful disregard and/or exploitation and/or consumption of animals as being a ‘fault’ of many a human being, there’s a strange feeling associated with going to the rodeo and enjoying the spectacle of it, whilst wondering just how much does that steer like having it’s neck and legs roped before being pinned to the ground, or does the bull/horse/sheep like having people strapped to its back. I just kept thinking: what would PETA make of all this?


#rodeoaustin – another collection of personal musings whilst conducting research of the #davidfosterwallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin, TX (Day Thirteen)

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The rodeo. What a very alien thing to see when you’re from the UK. In equal measure it is also quite exciting, and done in a way that I imagine can only be done by Americans. I’m led to believe that the cowboys we all think we know from TV and movies are largely a fallacy (but happy to be corrected by those in the know). What I saw today was an exhibition of great skill, and the thing that stood out in my mind was a comment from the announcer that the Austin Rodeo is a not-for-profit organization, with great emphasis on education and creating opportunities for youngsters. The whole event seemed to be populated by people who were doing what they were doing just because they love it, and that’s quite a nice thing to see.


#writing @EllevateNtwk #austin – another collection of personal musings whilst conducting research of the #davidfosterwallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin, TX (Day Ten)

Today’s post is slightly different. I’m taking a break from research of the David Foster Wallace archive to co-host a ‘Book Writing Workshop’ with my sister, Liz. The workshop is aimed at people who want to write non-fiction books, whether it be personal or business related.

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My sister is excellent at this sort of thing and is hugely experienced, and I’m hoping that all who attended felt that they got what they came for, or even got something they hadn’t quite expected. Aside from the day’s perceived success, the thing that stood out for me was the connectedness of the attendees, who all happened to be women. Part of this connectedness seems to stem from their affiliation with the Ellevate Network, Austin (@EllevateNtwk #austin). From what I saw, and heard, I’d urge all professional women to check out this network as the skills and knowledge these women possessed was astounding; in fact, more than astounding, because they actually want to share their experiences for the betterment of others.

So, a huge thank you (and hats off) to the attendees: Darlene, Margie, Sherry, Anita, Leslie, Amy, and Ramona.


#Running #Austin – another collection of personal musings whilst conducting research of the #davidfosterwallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin, TX (Day Six Entry Two)

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Having completed my third run in five days, totalling around seventeen miles, I feel compelled to mention the politeness of drivers who pass by as I’m running by the side of the road facing the on-coming traffic. Back home my presence wouldn’t make much of an impact and at times I’d be seen as an inconvenience to the person driving towards me. Here in Austin, cars swing out wide when they are able, making sure they are in no danger of hitting me, and where they cannot do so, because a vehicle is heading towards them from the opposite direction, they slow down, even stopping at times, before passing me in a safe manner. I find this truly remarkable and a testament to the good people who drive around the roads of Austin, TX.


#Sabrina – another collection of personal musings whilst conducting research of the #davidfosterwallace archive at the Harry Ransom Center, UT, Austin, TX (Day Two Entry Two)

On the subject of David Foster Wallace, today’s treat was coming across four copies of Sabrina, Amherst’s Humor Magazine. The find has little to do with my research but they were still worth a look as the humour is juvenile and silly, in the main, but where would we be without a touch of silliness every now and then? Because I cannot share images from the Wallace collection, here is a public domain image from a 1960 issue.

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