Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mary McCarthy’s ‘The Group’ Is the Definitive Young Woman’s Sex Narrative

Mary McCarthy's 'The Group' Is the Definitive Young Woman's Sex NarrativeFifty years ago this week, Mary McCarthy’s bestselling novel The Group was published. And 50 years later, people are still arguing vociferously about the legacy of the book. A couple of things are agreed upon. One is that The Group was a pioneer of the young-ladies-come-to-New-York-and-get-jobs-and-date genre that sustains women’s narratives from Sylvia Plath to Lena Dunham. It also blazed a trail for dismissive, angry, befuddled non-sequitur reviews from men who wanted to know what this girl stuff was all about, and why on earth anyone with a brain and some testicles might take it seriously. … Read More
David Foster Wallace and the Literary Traditions of Tennis

David Foster Wallace and the Literary Traditions of Tennis

Tennis and literature make great bedfellows. I’m sure there are those that would argue soccer, baseball, or even boxing make better mates with the written word, but baseball’s steroid problem has made it difficult to find much magic in the game. Soccer can be seductive, but I think writers find the fandom (Bill Buford’s Among the Thugs) or sociopolitical angles (Franklin Foer’s How Soccer Explains the World) of the game more interesting. Boxing has punched its way into irrelevancy as we await the first great MMA essay. Even professional wrestling has surpassed the sweet science that Ring Lardner and Norman Mailer loved, with writers like The Masked Man (aka David Shoemaker) writing brilliant pieces like the “Dead Wrestler of the Week” entries at Deadspin. … Read More

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