NO.4 ANOW SEMINAR | WHY IS TENNIS THE PERFECT GAME?

“The fundamental form of tennis is aristocratic… it is pure character!”

 In this episode, Pete Watt and Fred Weibull discuss why they think tennis is the perfect game.Along the way, they uncover why Serena Williams’ style is aristocratic, Pete Sampras was democratic and Federer is boring.

In doing so they submit their analytical gaze to an important aspect of contemporary popular media culture: sports analysis and commentary. However, rather than extending this line of journalistic analysis, they look at tennis as something more than a mere sport, but rather a ‘dramatic event’ in which some key cultural, political and philosophical issues are performed, explored and resolved. They begin by positioning tennis as something more than a mere sport or game, but rather an activity with its own intellectual history with a range of writers, artists, and philosophers turning their attention to this wonderful game. After positioning tennis in relation to its rich intellectual context, Pete and Fred attempt to locate why tennis has received such considered attention. In doing so they focus on the character, form and dramatic quality of tennis in relation to, ‘technology’, ‘national styles of play’ and ‘sex’.

References / Further Watching/Reading

73 Questions with Anna Wintour – YouTube. (2014). Vogue. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhXwO_mkdzQ

Amis, M. (2009). Tennis, My Beautiful Game. The Guardian.

Deleuze, Parnet, Boutang L’Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze, 1996

Dyer, G. (2017). Line judge: where are the great tennis books? Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/03/great-books-tennis-tennis-winmbledon

Foster Wallace, D. (2016). String Theory. Library of Congress. Retrieved from https://loa.org/books/504-string-theory-david-foster-wallace-on-tennis

Gustafsson, Lars. 1983. The Tennis Players. New Directions Publishing Corporation.

John M. Hoberman (2007) The sportive muse: Lars Gustafsson’s Tennisspelarna, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 4:3, 360-364, DOI: 10.1080/09523368708713638

McEnroe, J. (2002). Serious.

Sullivan, J. J. (2016). David Foster Wallace’s Perfect Game. The New Yorkerhttps://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/david-foster-wallaces-perfect-game

Sharapova, Maria. 2017. Unstoppable: My Life So Far. Penguin UK.

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