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Friday, September 9, 2016

Federer as Religious Experience

I would be remiss, as we approach the climax of the U.S Open, not to offer a link on this very blog to David Foster Wallace's classic essay "Federer as Religious Experience."

After all, what sport better represents the existential human condition, in all its thrills and agony, than tennis, the act and art of trying to hit a fast-moving object past another person.

Link to the essay is below.

"The present article is more about a spectator's experience of Federer, and its context. The specific thesis here is that if you've never seen the young man play live, and then do, in person, on the sacred grass of Wimbledon, through the literally withering heat and then wind and rain of the '06 fortnight, then you are apt to have what one of the tournament's press bus drivers describes as a 'bloody near-religious experience.' It may be tempting, at first, to hear a phrase like this as just one more of the overheated tropes that people resort to to describe the feeling of Federer Moments. But the driver's phrase turns out to be true-literally, for an instant ecstatically-though it takes some time and serious watching to see this truth emerge."

David Foster Wallace, "Federer as Religious Experience"

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