Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sorta remotely COINish quote of the day

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):
[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.
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.

20 comments:

  1. Ugh, port. Port is yucky.

    (Don't mind my comments on the other post. We will have to agree to disagree on some stuff :) )

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  2. Ugh, port. Port is yucky.

    We may agree to disagree on matters of geopolitical import, but THIS SHALL NOT STAND.

    Port is yucky? Really??!

    (And you should know, you're my target audience -- or at least one of my target audience of about three -- when I make book posts, since there's evidence that you do read outside our field!)

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  3. Well, that might have to do with the fact that once, in the olden days, I threw up a stomachful of port at a Chick Corea concert.

    I cannot believe I am admitting this.

    *I don't even really like Chick Corea. Stupid hippies I went to school with.

    - Madhu

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  4. In his defense, the port that Gulliver drinks is the good stuff. (And I've known Alma to drink it with him.)

    He also has many leather-bound books and his house smells of rich mahogany.

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  5. He also has many leather-bound books and his house smells of rich mahogany.

    Mark this date: it's only taken 11 months of blogging for my girlfriend to leave an awesome comment.

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  6. Yeah, your girlfriend is "kinda hot."

    SNLII

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  7. Aw, you kids are sweet!

    (Leather-bound books and rich mahogany are all well and good, just so long as you don't start wearing a cravat, a pocket-square, suspenders, a waistcoat, or start smoking a pipe. If you go there, I will have to abandon this blog. I have standards.)

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  8. Oh, the Chick Corea thing?

    Just ignore that. Even nerds have a past. No harm in it.

    (Seriously, those 80s pseudo-hippies! It was all hand-thrown ceramics, brick-like homemade organic bread and farmer's market vegetable soup, no shoes and filthy feet, and yes, a kind of variant-of-patchouli smell wafting everywhere. No, not what you think. I cannot begin to describe the horrors. You know, certain pockets of the academic playground have a lot to answer for....there is a reason I turned my back on all of it.)

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  9. Madhu, Gulliver's GF was paying homage to Ron Burgandy.

    I'm not sure it's exactly a compliment so much as a witty observation.

    SNLII and Baxter

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  10. Oh, that's where that comes from. I thought it sounded familiar.

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  11. It's one of the movies I love, Madhu. Also, I love poetry, and a glass of scotch, and, of course, my friend Baxter here.

    SNLII & Baxter

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  12. It's ok, SNLII, she doesn't understand. WE ARE MEN, WHO DISCOVERED THE WHEEL AND BUILT THE EIFFEL TOWER OUT OF METAL AND BRAWN! That's what kind of men we are! She's just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us. It's science.

    (No offense, Madhu. It's science.)

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  13. Madhu has beautiful eyes. And her hair smells like cinnamon.

    SNLII & Baxter

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  14. Don't get me wrong, I love the ladies. I mean they rev my engines, but they don't belong in the newsroom. Uh, I mean, Pentagon.

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  15. Gulliver, 60 percent of the time, that makes sense every time.

    Oh, and I'm wearing Sex Panther.

    SNLII & Baxter & Sex Panther

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  16. Oh for Gawd's sake.

    (I liked that Nascar movie better. That was funny.)

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  17. Oh, and I'm wearing Sex Panther.

    I thought you might go with London Gentleman, or wait. No, no, no. Hold on: Blackbeard's Delight.

    (I liked that Nascar movie better. That was funny.)

    You don't understand. You don't understand me because you don't understand liberty! You don't understand freedom. So you put a crack in my arm like the crack in the Liberty Bell! You hear me?!

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  18. Well, when in Rome, Madhu.

    SNLII

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  19. Go fuck yourself, San Diego.

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  20. Sweet Lincoln's mullet!

    What's that, Baxter? You know I don't speak Spanish!

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