India Uncut

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"Mozart and Metallica at the same time"

David Foster Wallace, the novelist who was a junior tennis player in his youth, has a remarkable essay on Roger Federer in the New York Times called "Federer as Religious Experience." It is as perfect a sports piece as I have read, which is befitting, I suppose, considering the subject. It has some stunning passages -- the second paragraph, for example, in which he describes a passage of play with such perfect rhythm that reading it is like playing the point, like being there. The footnotes are also marvellous.

Don DeLillo's written beautifully on baseball -- such as in the opening section of Underworld -- and it's a pity that none of the big Indian novelists has brought cricket alive in this manner. Indeed, I can't think of anyone who has written about cricket with so potent a combination of poetic force and analytical rigour.

(Link via separate emails from S Rajesh and Rk.)
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