Wallace on Federer

David Foster Wallace was on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday this morning, talking about Roger Federer. Wallace fans will know that the author’s long been interested in tennis: half of his brilliant novel Infinite Jest takes place at a junior tennis academy; there are two tennis-related pieces in his collection A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again; he even once wrote a very entertaining aerial-view piece about the U.S. Open (I think for Tennis magazine), that I don’t think has been republished since it ran several years ago.

Wallace was on this morning’s show in part to publicize his article about Federer in The New York Times’ sports magazine, PLAY. NPR’s Scott Simon said the article would appear in September, but it’s already online, and the ‘Published on’ date is tomorrow. The piece is “Federer as Religious Experience,” and it begins:

Almost anyone who loves tennis and follows the men’s tour on television has, over the last few years, had what might be termed Federer Moments. These are times, as you watch the young Swiss play, when the jaw drops and eyes protrude and sounds are made that bring spouses in from other rooms to see if you’re O.K.

As with most Wallace pieces, I could sit here all day and pull quote after juicy quote. Just go read it.