Narwhal Party


Updike on Williams
09/26/2010, 8:46 am
Filed under: Books, Sports | Tags: , ,

The New York Times has a nice write up on John Updike’s fantastic Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu–his 64-page essay on the final game of Ted Williams. It’s a fast, easy read and includes and essay on the essay, which is heralded for changing the face of sports writing as we know it. From the NYT article:

It’s not too much to say that “Hub Fans” changed sportswriting. Affectionately mocking the tradition of sports clichés (as in the title, which didn’t actually appear in any of Boston’s seven dailies at the time, but easily could have), the essay demonstrated that you could write about baseball, of all things, in a way that was personal, intelligent, even lyrical. Updike compares Williams to Achilles, to a Calder mobile, to Donatello’s David, standing on third base as if the bag were the head of Goliath.

and

What beckoned was the heroic example of Williams. He wrote: “For me, Williams is the classic ballplayer of the game on a hot August weekday, before a small crowd, when the only thing at stake is the tissue-thin difference between a thing done well and a thing done ill.” And reading “Hub Fans,” you even sense at times a hint of self-identification. Williams and Updike were physically alike. They were tall and slender, with exceptional eyesight. (This was literally so for Williams, and metaphorically true for Updike, who, as the essay demonstrates, was an uncanny observer.)

Read the full article here, and buy the book at a real-live book store, if you’d like. Highly recommended.

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