Marshall gives a long list of works for which he was responsible in his own right.
David Foster Wallace, String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis have all appeared in other books by Wallace: Such an evocation of a branch of quantum physics in a book about tennis might seem unusual, but it is, of course, apt when the writer in question is David Foster Wallace.
Wallace was always interested in what can be called the multidimensionality of tennis, and not just insofar as the game brings into play length, width, height, depth, and time, in addition to the laws of motion.
There are psychological dimensions of the game to be considered, as well, along with others: With tennis as the hub in this volume, spokes run out in several directions from essay to essay: And this connection is made even more apparent in Infinite Jest, some of the tennis bits of which the editors at Library of America, who compiled String Theory, were wise to leave out, as it would have been just too messy and too violent a job to excerpt, abridge, and contextualize that particular novel.
This is where the exponential infoliation occurs, in the relationship between two entities encountering each other in a given field, on either side of a divide. Always and only the self out there, on court, to be met, fought, brought to the table to hammer out terms.
We baffle ourselves with our own limitations, even when we occasionally exceed or even momentarily transcend them. Both reading and writing are forms of self-confrontation enabled by the occasion of meeting with a second party.
And Wallace, it seems, both won and lost this confrontation with himself, as perhaps we all do, though Wallace both won and lost big.
In the essay on Michael Joyce, Wallace addresses his reader: By this point in time, with Infinite Jest published a few months previously, he was well on his way to being one of the hundred most acclaimed living English-language writers in the world, where a good deal of people Zadie Smith, for instance would likely say, top ?
You mean top Perhaps Wallace is just being humble here, though in that case there is a resulting irony inherent in his praise of Joyce insofar as Joyce will now probably be remembered more as a subject of a Wallace piece than as a top mids tennis player.
To form in words what one has imagined is even harder. There are verbal volleys and on-court repartees, and reporters no less than tennis pros are always in search of the right angle. Tennis is dialectic made physical, and Wallace was as much a pro at the latter as Joyce was at the former.
Much of what Wallace says about the likes of tennis players Joyce, Austin, and, most famously, Roger Federer, can therefore also be said about the writer Wallace himself.
He belongs, that is, as a subject, in the same class as them, and so in the same book, only not as a tennis player per se, but as a tennis player whose game somehow got funneled into writing.
The radical compression of his attention and self has allowed him to become a transcendent practitioner of an art—something few of us get to be. He won by losing; he lost by winning. If you want to read Wallace on what it means to be a writer, then, you could do worse than starting with his essays on tennis.
After the publication of Infinite Jest, you might have read in one of countless book reviews something like the following: In having taken two prevailing trends in the game, trends seemingly at odds with one another, and somehow fused them into a single game, his own.
First, there was the long-predominant serve-and-volley game, or how tennis was traditionally played. Then, in the mids, there began to emerge the power baseline game, which slowly but surely all but wiped out the serve-and-volley style over the course of the next twenty years. The two styles of play were characterized by different racquets, different tactics and strategies, different demeanors, and so on.
The one was graceful, the other brutal, etc. Because of advances in racquet technology, just playing the elegant serve-and-volley game was no longer plausible, which left it to a new generation of baseliners to slug it out against each other.
But Federer was able to dominate all of them because he incorporated the grace, the elegance, and the angles of the earlier style into his own ability to wail with the best of them. How did Wallace dominate the field of American letters and leave his own competition in the dust?
He did what Federer did. Instead, he synthesized the two, as any careful reader or critic of Infinite Jest will confirm. Wallace was Federer before Federer. Aufheben is the key to dialectic; from the limitations of preexisting systems, rules, terms, conceptions, and ideas emerge forms more free and competent, more enlightened, and seemingly more effortlessly so.
In both texts, limitation, be it physical or psychological, is celebrated as a source of excellence, perfection, and beauty rather than lamented as an obstacle thereto. To see limitation as the seedbed for form, and to proceed accordingly, not to mention diligently, is to discover the very possibility of freedom.
First published in 3: Thursday, May 19th, String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis review – the best writer on the game ever Within two years of writing the essay, he was dead. • To order String Theory for £ Feb 23, · We started the week expecting to publish one David Foster Wallace caninariojana.com, because of the 50th birthday celebration, it turned into caninariojana.com now three.
We spent some time tracking down free DFW stories and essays available on the web, and they're all now listed in our collection, Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices.. But we didn't want them to escape your attention.
The Library of America presents an instant classic of American sportswriting—the tennis essays of David Foster Wallace, “the best mind of his generation” (A. O. Scott) and “the best tennis-writer of all time” (New York Times), in a deluxe hardcover collector’s edition.
The best opinions, comments and analysis from The Telegraph. About String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis An instant classic of American sportswriting—the tennis essays of David Foster Wallace, “the best mind of his generation” (A.
Scott) and “the best tennis-writer of all time” (New York Times). Note: there are 45 articles written by Mike Chrimes, Librarian of the Institution of Civil Engineers in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: the majority relate to key civil engineers associated with the railway industry..
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