Foster wallace tennis essay

This essay will be appreciated, of course, by people who knows about and feels something towards this sport.

Foster wallace tennis essay

Between the ages of 12 and 15, he competed in tournaments all over the Midwest, at one point achieving a regional ranking of And most crucially, unlike practically every other player on the planet, he relished playing in the wind.

This, too, he links to his mathematical prowess: Facing him — especially in a howling gale — must have been a nightmare. As he got older and better, he started competing in more prestigious tournaments. As he puts it: The truth — which he all too obviously grasps — is that he was constitutionally unsuited to life as an athlete.

There was too much else going on in his overdeveloped brain. Yet exactly what remains unknowable. Under the guise of being modest, Wallace is actually being slyly boastful I alone was clever enough to capitalise on my environmentwhile also revealing very little of himself.

He may, for a while, have felt at home within lines and grids; but when he got older, they stopped being able to contain him.

Discovering and developing talent

And so Wallace quit tennis. But he never turned his back on the sport. For the remainder of his life, it continued to fascinate him — and he returned to it regularly in writing.

Infinite Jesthis magnum opus, is set partly in a tennis academy, and deals with the life — does this sound familiar? The sport, moreover, inspired some of his finest non-fiction: Now, for the first time, these have been gathered in a single volume, with an elegant introduction by John Jeremiah Sullivan.

Read together, these pieces demonstrate a few things. The analytical powers that must have ended up hindering him as a player made him a peerless observer of the sport. Wallace is interested in — and understands — every aspect of the game, from its strategic complications and technical evolution through to sponsorship deals and methods of hydration.

Foster wallace tennis essay

But where Wallace stands apart is that he is never boring with it. Something else about tennis clearly attracted Wallace: His interest in this topic was by no means impersonal: Four of the five essays here are about what it means to be great — or nearly great — on a tennis court. Wallace approaches greatness from a variety of angles.

Why, Wallace wants to know, are top athletes so uniformly unenlightening about their achievements, when they are the only people who actually know what it feels like to be so mind-bogglingly good?

Wallace answers his own question and lets Austin et al off the hook by introducing a typically ingenious paradox: Infinite Jest at The essay is a lovely, lolling thing, circling around its subject without reaching any firm conclusions, but allowing Wallace to indulge his omnivorous interest in the sport.

The sad thing is that he never did find a way out. Within two years of writing the essay, he was dead.David Foster Wallace was born in Ithaca, New York, in and raised in Illinois, where he was a regionally ranked junior tennis player.

He received bachelor of arts degrees in philosophy and English from Amherst College and wrote what would become his first novel, The Broom of the System, as his senior English received a masters of fine arts from University of Arizona in and. 5 David Foster Wallace Essays You Should Read Before Seeing The End of the Tour.

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Fahrenheit essay on hope short essay on gandhiji in gujarati? The qualie circuit is to professional tennis sort of what AAA baseball is to the major leagues: Somebody playing the qualies in Montreal is an undeniably world-class tennis player, but he's not.

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David Foster Wallace bibliography - Wikipedia