At BlackBook, Adam Wilson pits two literary luminaries against each other on the subject of tennis: Lil’ Wayne vs David Foster Wallace. From Wilson’s piece–
On Understanding Limitations
Lil Wayne: “One of the main reasons I enjoy the sport so much is because when I actually tried to play, it was unbelievably hard.”
David Foster Wallace: “I thus further confess that I arrived in Montreal with some dim unconscious expectation that these professionals—at least the obscure ones, the nonstars—wouldn’t be all that much better than I. I don’t mean to imply that I’m insane: I was ready to concede that age, a nasty ankle injury in 1988, and a penchant for nicotine (and worse) meant that I wouldn’t be able to compete physically with a young unhurt professional, but on TV (while eating junk and smoking), I’d seen pros whacking balls at each other that didn’t look to be moving substantially faster than the balls I’d hit. In other words, I arrived at my first professional tournament with the pathetic deluded pride that attends ignorance. And I have been brought up sharply. I do not play and never have played even the same game as these qualifiers.”
Winner: Wallace. Though Weezy is once again clear and concise, Wallace wins for honesty and breadth of experience.