Follow the links below to download the books.
We adapted the list of books from Laura Miller‘s long interview with Wallace for Salon in 1996.
Seven Free eBooks That Inspired David Foster Wallace
1. Phaedo by Plato (This contains what Wallace called “Socrates’ funeral oration”)
2. Poems of John Donne (Volume 1) by John Donne
3. The Complete Works of Richard Crashaw (Volume I) by Richard Crashaw
4. A discourse on method ; Meditations on the first philosophy ; Principles of philosophy by Rene Descartes
5. Prolegomena to any future metaphysics by Immanuel Kant
6. Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature by William James
7. Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein
Here are some recommendations of non-public domain books from the interview:
Joyce’s “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” Hemingway — particularly the ital stuff in “In Our Time,” where you just go oomph!, Flannery O’Connor, Cormac McCarthy, Don DeLillo, A.S. Byatt, Cynthia Ozick — the stories, especially one called “Levitations,” about 25 percent of the time Pynchon. Donald Barthelme, especially a story called “The Balloon,” which is the first story I ever read that made me want to be a writer, Tobias Wolff, Raymond Carver’s best stuff — the really famous stuff. Steinbeck when he’s not beating his drum, 35 percent of Stephen Crane, “Moby-Dick,” “The Great Gatsby.”