[W]hat a top P.B.er [power-baseliner] really resembles is film of the old Soviet Union putting down a rebellion. It's awesome, but brutally so, with a grinding, faceless quality about its power that renders that power curiously dull and empty.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Here's David Foster Wallace, who, as I've told you in the past, was pretty much the greatest writer of fiction since Hemingway, and whose literary style and tone I would shamelessly parrot if I had even a fraction of the necessary talent, in a nonfiction essay about tennis (which is remarkable enough on its face, the fact that I'm reading about tennis):
For what it's worth, this is from "Tennis Player Michael Joyce's Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff About Choice, Freedom, Limitation, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness," originally published in abridged form in Esquire in 1996 under the title "The String Theory" and reprinted under the title above (TPMJPAPCSACFLJGHC, that is) in the 1997 essay collection entitled A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and which is one of two incredible tennis-player-bio-meets-philosophical-treatise-s that Wallace wrote. (The other is "Roger Federer as Religious Experience," which was in the August 20, 2006 edition of the New York Times' Play magazine and is available online, and which is probably the single greatest piece of sports writing I've ever read. And honestly, I don't give a tinker's damn about tennis.)
If you don't read DFW, whether it's because you've never heard of him or because you dismiss him as some avant-garde PoMo new-agey hipster, you are seriously missing a meaningful part of human experience. And that's not just the half a bottle of port talking.