The Fight

The Fight

Norman Mailer

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0812986121

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Fight

Norman Mailer

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0812986121

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaïre, two African American boxers were paid five million dollars apiece to fight each other. One was Muhammad Ali, the aging but irrepressible “professor of boxing.” The other was George Foreman, who was as taciturn as Ali was voluble. Observing them was Norman Mailer, a commentator of unparalleled energy, acumen, and audacity. Whether he is analyzing the fighters’ moves, interpreting their characters, or weighing their competing claims on the African and American souls, Mailer’s grasp of the titanic battle’s feints and stratagems—and his sensitivity to their deeper symbolism—makes this book a masterpiece of the literature of sport.
 
Praise for The Fight
 
“Exquisitely refined and attenuated . . . [a] sensitive portrait of an extraordinary athlete and man, and a pugilistic drama fully as exciting as the reality on which it is based.”The New York Times
 
“One of the defining texts of sports journalism. Not only does Mailer recall the violent combat with a scholar’s eye . . . he also makes the whole act of reporting seem as exciting as what’s occurring in the ring.”GQ
 
“Stylistically, Mailer was the greatest boxing writer of all time.”—Chuck Klosterman, Esquire
 
“One of Mailer’s finest books.”—Louis Menand, The New Yorker
 
Praise for Norman Mailer
 
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”The New York Times
 
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”The New Yorker
 
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”The Washington Post
 
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”Life
 
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”The New York Review of Books
 
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”The Cincinnati Post

The Breaks of the Game

Reporting at Wits End

Losing the News: The Future of the News that Feeds Democracy (Institutions of American Democracy)

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

The Telephone Booth Indian (Library of Larceny)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

he lived among. Given a few of his own ideas, Norman’s excitement was not small as he read Bantu Philosophy. For he discovered that the instinctive philosophy of African tribesmen happened to be close to his own. Bantu philosophy, he soon learned, saw humans as forces, not beings. Without putting it into words, he had always believed that. It gave a powerful shift to his thoughts. By such logic, men or women were more than the parts of themselves, which is to say more than the result of their

slide, put his hands to his head, fall back against the ropes, spring out, feint, drop his hands, dart, and try to move away again, Foreman stalking him all the while with enjoyment, for his reflexes were growing faster and faster. Meanwhile, Foreman was learning new tricks every step of the way. Once, Terry Lee, springing off the ropes, skipped under Foreman’s arms like a small boy escaping his father, and the African audience at the rear of the hall roared with derision. Foreman looked

interview. His pride is to control his details. “For example, you will hear everywhere you ask that the army is the base of his power, and it is. One reason is that the price of beer is kept low for soldiers, a detail, but he is meticulous about details. He knows where every officer in his army is posted — he is careful that no important officer is ever in command of troops from his own tribe. Soldiers cannot even speak each other’s languages. They must address each other in Lingala. So he

Through a long unheard sigh of collective release, Ali charged across the ring. He looked as big and determined as Foreman, so he held himself, as if he possessed the true threat. They collided without meeting, their bodies still five feet apart. Each veered backward like similar magnetic poles repelling one another forcibly. Then Ali came forward again, Foreman came forward, they circled, they feinted, they moved in an electric ring, and Ali threw the first punch, a tentative left. It came up

villa. Ali, with the happiest spirit, was soon charming the ladies. “Oh,” he said in response to a query, “my mother never worries. I could be getting killed in the ring, but she wouldn’t worry. ‘My baby’s all right,’ she’d be saying.” And he winked at Tom Daly, John Daly’s father, with his three hundred fights, to whom he had just been introduced. The phone rang. It was a reporter in New York, and Ali talked to him, and made faces with his guests. “Yes, I will rest a few months and let you look

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