Joyce Carol Oates on boxing

“Boxers make visible what is invisible in us.”

“Boxing’s very image is repulsive to many people because it cannot be assimilated into what we wish to know about civilized men.”

“Boxing in its greatest moments suggests the bloody fifth acts of classic tragedies.”

“Boxing is about being hit rather more than it is about hitting.”

“Boxing makes graphically clear the somber fact that the same individual can be thoroughly ‘civilized’ and ‘barbaric’ depending upon the context of the performance.”

“Boxing‘s mimesis is not that of a mere game, but a powerful analogue of human struggle in the rawest life-and-death terms.”

“Boxing is about failure more than it is about success.”

“Boxing is the most pitiless of sports, as it can be the most dazzling, theatrical, and emblematic.”



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