Nov 3 2011
Courtney Fiske: Playing with Tennis
Something is lost when tennis is televised. The blocky, overhead vantage favored by networks compresses the court and caricatures its occupants. The ball becomes a blur of fuzz and neon, often shot in histrionic slow-mo. Reduced to a series of zoom-ins and zoom-outs, the game congeals into a mass of grunts, moans, and commercials. Well-executed prose, by contrast, amplifies tennis's inherent drama, probes its psychic interior, and reveals its resonances beyond the court's 2,800-odd square feet. The following texts play with tennis in this expanded verbal field, exploiting those techniques of deceleration and dilation at which the written word remains best.
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