The last days of Roger Federer and other artists

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Switzerland’s Roger Federer leaves the court after being defeated by Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz during the men’s singles quarterfinals match on day nine of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Wednesday, July 7, 2021. Among the issues that first interested Geoff Dyer in the subject of artists and athletes ageing and retiring was the prospect of Federer walking off the court for the last time. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

How do artists and athletes deal with the ravages of time? Do they discover new vistas, soldier on, or accept the inevitable? The answers lie between Robert Browning’s Rabbi Ben Ezra, who felt that “the best is yet to be”, and a weary Yeats, who lay down “in the foul rag and bone shop of the heart”.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

For Edward Said, the late work of some creators reflected disharmony and difference. In his On Late Style, he wrote about how this gave it “the power to render disenchantment and pleasure without resolving the contradiction between them”.

Beethoven’s last piano sonatas and quartets fall into this category, according to Said. The German composer is also among those discussed in Geoff Dyer’s new book, impishly titled The Last Days of Roger Federer. It is – spoiler alert – about much more than Roger Federer.

Global Tech News Daily

#Book review, #books, #last day, roger federer, #roger federer retirement, #the last days of federer
Dyer, now in his 60s, ruminates on talent in the shadow of age, on the task of displaying expertise even as the remaining grains of sand slip out of the hourglass. Among the issues that first interested him in the subject was the prospect of Federer walking off the court for the last time.

“It seemed important that a book underwritten by my own experience of the changes wrought by ageing,” he writes, “should be completed before Roger’s retirement, in the long twilight of his career”. Dyer’s prose, which has moved out of the shade of Thomas Bernhard, probes this from various angles by examining the later lives of writers, painters, musicians and sportspeople through the prism of his own circumstances.

Global Tech News Daily

The book progresses in numbered passages, each of which introduces a new aspect or develops one mentioned earlier. This jazz-like structure also allows him to tease out links, such as between childhood train journeys, David Lean’s Brief Encounter, and the poems of Philip Larkin. Many pages are devoted to looking at his old obsessions through a new lens, from photography to music to D.H. Lawrence to the challenges of writing and finishing a book.

Some performers appear impervious to the passage of time, even though their work reveals its wreckage. Of Bob Dylan, Dyer feels: “It’s not that his music never ages; it keeps step with our own ageing in a way that Freddie Mercury or even Joe Strummer never do.”

At other times, one artist’s endpoint is another’s beginning. William Turner’s late paintings, with objects surrounded by haze and light, were viewed by his peers as a sign of diminished capacity. Years later, the same canvases were seen as evidence of an artist loosening the chains of convention, foreshadowing impressionists such as Monet and Pissarro.

One of the book’s larger themes, says Dyer, is that of quitting. He wonders about those who decide to call it a day after having published just one book or finished a few paintings or compositions. For some, it’s lack of inspiration, motivation, ambition, or stubbornness. Paradoxically, “it can be enough especially for someone who so venerates the idea of being a writer” to get over the finishing line of that first race and then retire.

As for reading, Dyer is frank about his exasperation. He’s given up on recent attempts to go through Musil’s The Man Without Qualities, Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Henry James’s The Ambassadors, and most of Faulkner. Perhaps, as he doesn’t point out, with age also comes the desire to have things plainly spelled out.

On the other hand, as he says, there’s something to the claim that certain books can only be read at certain times of life. After early faltering attempts at reading Louise Gluck, for example, he now finds himself “within her austerely embodied consciousness, its gaunt sensuality and granite lyricism”.

Given the premium Dyer places on not being precious or humourless in his work, it comes as a surprise that he tried to read Wodehouse only recently. “I was looking forward to having a good old chortle, but after a hundred pages hadn’t chortled once.” Pity.

Some of the most personal passages are to do with his body’s current frailties, as well as the later careers of those such as Federer, Andy Murray and Bjorn Borg. He recalls Federer’s 2013 Wimbledon defeat at the hands of the 116-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky; of failing to win a single Slam between 2013 and 2016; and of “coming up against either the swirling menace of Nadal’s left hand or the Balkan wall of Djokovic’s implacable defence”.

Then came the annus mirabilis of 2017, when he bounced back from knee surgery to win the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami Open, and Wimbledon. For Dyer, the real triumph here is beyond statistics and calculation.

What Federer demonstrated was that the most efficient way to play tennis was also the most elegant, and vice versa. In other words, “aesthetics and victory could go hand in hand”. Sadly enough, “the reign of beauty is coming to an end”.

As a counterpoint, Dyer writes of his own game and the ills that his body falls prey to. These include problems with his rotator cuff, hip, wrist, neck, lower back, and knees. Here, he is almost self-effacing, but not self-pitying.

Garrulity is another affliction that can arise with the passage of years, and while that would be too harsh a judgement to pass on Dyer, his book does go on and on at times. Some editing would have helped, especially in passages dealing with stealing shampoo from hotel rooms, drug-induced shenanigans at the Burning Man festival or reveries about the form of a proposed Nietzsche sculpture in Turin.

For all that, the bulk of The Last Days of Roger Federer is engaging and informed. Towards the end, Dyer writes that after having announced to a friend that he had finished his book, he wondered if he got it the wrong way round: “Has it finished me?” One hopes not.

News Related


Book review: 'The Bangalore Detectives Club' - Elite membership!

The novel is set in Bengaluru in the 1920s. (Image from the Macnabb Collection via Wikimedia Commons) A book with a vibrant cover, a lady sleuth who plays Ms Marple ... Read more »

Meta laid her off just days before she was due to join. See her viral post

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, posted its slowest revenue growth in years. In a widely-shared LinkedIn post, Stephanie Washington has recounted how Meta, the parent company of Facebook, laid ... Read more »

Storyboard18 | Moms in Adland: The conflict between motherhood and work life is a reality

Being a mom is a natural progression and not an interruption. (Image: Harry Cao via Unsplash) Many of my team apparently refer to me as “Maa”. The jury is out ... Read more »

Who is Vladimir Putin's rumoured girlfriend Alina Kabaeva

Russia-Ukraine war: Vladimir Putin’s inner circle is under global scrutiny. Former Russian gymnast Alina Kabaeva, rumoured to be President Vladimir Putin’s girlfriend, could be targeted with sanctions. The European Union ... Read more »

Kerala Travel Mart: Caravans, river lodges among ideas to revive tourism in the state

The next Champions Boat League is slated for November 2022. A row of brightly coloured caravans is parked across an empty dock at the Kochi port in the human-made, nearly century-old Willingdon ... Read more »

Happy Mother's Day 2022: Wishes, images, greetings and quotes to share with mom

Mother’s Day: Wish your mom on the occasion of Mother’s Day with a sweet card. Mother’s Day is a good day to remind your mum how important she is to ... Read more »

Amazon driver leaves touching message for girl battling cancer. Jeff Bezos reacts

Jeff Bezos shared a shout-out for Asani Anderson (Image credit: TeamAubreyHope/Facebook, AFP) Amazon founder Jeff Bezos gave a shout-out to an employee who went viral for a small act of ... Read more »

Watch: World's highest tea party on Everest at a dizzying 21,312 feet

The video left social media users fascinated. (Screengrab from video posted on Instagram by Guinness World Records) This will certainly beat the experience of any high tea you have ever ... Read more »

Microsoft working on Xbox Streaming device that will reportedly release next year

(Image Courtesy: Microsoft) New reports suggest that Microsoft will release a streaming device and an app for internet-connected TVs, that allows users, to play their Xbox Game Pass titles on ... Read more »

Harshvardhan Kapoor: "'Thar' is the most difficult role I have played"

Harshvardhan Kapoor in ‘Thar’, which released on May 6, 2022. (Image: Netflix) In Harshvardhan Kapoor’s fifth film, Thar, which just released on Netflix, the 31-year-old actor also took on the ... Read more »

Monkeys ran away with evidence in murder case, Rajasthan cops tell court

Cops have said that monkeys stole a bag of evidence in Jaipur (Representative Image) Police in Rajasthan have said that keys pieces of evidence in a murder trial have gone ... Read more »

Sri Lanka crisis: Protests continue, calls grow for resignation of Rajapaksa brothers

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa is facing renewed pressure to quit amid the country’s crippling economic crisis, news agency PTI has reported. Government sources said that at a cabinet ... Read more »

Saani Kaayidham review: Keerthy Suresh excels in this predictable revenge drama

Keerthy Suresh as Ponni in the violent revenge drama ‘Saani Kaayidham’. (Image: Screen grab/Amazon Prime Video) Given that this movie is directed by Arun Matheswaran, who directed Rocky, there are ... Read more »

Facebook will discontinue two location-based features on May 31

Representative Image Facebook has started sending notices to users that it will discontinue two of its location-based features—Nearby Friends, which allows a user to track and share their location with ... Read more »

Puliyogre tamarind rice: journey from temple prasad to the main dish at a Bengaluru eatery

A key component in this puliyogare is gojju, made with tamarind pulp and spices. (Photo: Jayanthi Madhukar) Dark, fiery, and with a hint of sweetness – this is quite a ... Read more »

Watch: Punches fly as brawl erupts on flight. Shocking video is viral

A group of men was seen fighting on board a KLM flight (Image: MayaWilkinsonx/Twitter) A fight broke out between passengers on a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight from Manchester to ... Read more »

Farhan Akhtar to appear in Marvel's new superhero series

The details of Farhan Akhtar’s character in Ms Marvel have not been revealed yet. Actor-filmmaker Farhan Akhtar will be making an appearance in Ms Marvel, the first Muslim superhero series ... Read more »

Did Imran Khan inadvertently compare himself to a donkey? Watch viral video

Imran Khan, born in Lahore, spent a part of his childhood in England (Image: Imran Khan/YouTube) A clip of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan describing life in the United ... Read more »

As cylinders get dearer, Twitter users express frustration with memes

Indians are struggling with the rise in prices of several essential commodities, ranging from fuel to vegetables. Indians woke up today to the news of another hike in the prices ... Read more »

Storyboard18 | Bookstrapping: ‘Selling' isn't just for salespeople

Hoffeld brings back the concept of ‘Antifragile, pioneered by Nassim Nicolas Taleb. (Representational image: Oc Gonzalez via Unsplash) Sell More with Science: The Mindsets, Traits, and Behaviors That Create Sales ... Read more »

Met Gala madness to IPL craze: Summing up the week with hilarious memes

This week began with a bang as the Met Gala returned to New York in all its gilded glory. Kylie Jenner’s Met Gala 2022 look became the subject of several ... Read more »

The Beatles Bungalow in Rishikesh: award-winning photographer captures the decaying home in a shot at immortality

Interior of Maharishi’s Ashram, which The Beatles visited in 1968 – this photo is part of Beatles Bungalow exhibition by photographer Michael Donald. Sometimes, decay, not restoration, may be the ... Read more »

Book excerpt: Soli Sorabjee: Life and Times by Abhinav Chandrachud | Tamas and the case for free speech

Soli Sorabjee was Attorney General of India from 1989-90 and 1998-2004. Padma Vibhushan Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney General of India, died on April 30, 2021. A new biography by Abhinav Chandrachud ... Read more »

Watch: What is 'space jellyfish', that lit up the sky in Florida

(Image credit: @samwell224/Twitter) The residents of Florida were treated to a stunning sight on Friday as SpaceX’s Falcon rocket launched 53 internet satellites from the Kennedy Space Center before sunrise. ... Read more »

Rabindranath Tagore birth anniversary: 10 profound quotes of the Nobel laureate

Rabindranath Tagore Jayanti 2022: Read deep words of unimaginable beauty from the literary great. Rabindranath Tagore, one of India’s greatest literary personalities, was born on May 7 in Kolkata in ... Read more »

Because I'm happy...

Community means everything when it comes to mental health and happiness. (Representational image: Phil Nguyen via Pexels) What we think will make us happy: Money, fame, more money, more fame… ... Read more »

My Family and Other Globalizers | Practicing motherhood on cats

Animals love unconditionally and listen without judgement. They’ve been shown to decrease stress and loneliness, while helping kids gain empathy and learn responsibility. (Representational image: Dorothea Oldani via Unsplash) I ... Read more »

The Paradox of Celebrity Tequila

In June 2017, George Clooney and Rande Gerber (a.k.a., the spouse of Cindy Crawford) sold their tequila company, Casamigos, for $1 billion. Founded by the pair in 2013, the company ... Read more »

Billionaire Investor Warns U.S. Economy Could Face 'Serious Problems' If Fed Doesn't Hike Rates Within the Year

Following the Fed’s move to raise interest rates by 50-basis points at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday, Equity Group Investments chairman and founder Sam Zell voiced cautious ... Read more »

SpaceX Dragon Capsule Splashes Down Safely After 6 Months in Orbit, But the Mission Got Off to a Harrowing Start

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance splashed down off the coast of Tampa early this morning, per NASA, bringing crew members safely back to Earth after almost six months in orbit following a mission ... Read more »

Jail time for passenger who had to be duct-taped after groping flight crew

A Frontier Airlines passenger was handed jail time for groping and assaulting crew. (Image: flyfrontier/Facebook) A Frontier Airlines passenger who had to be duct-taped to his seat for groping airline ... Read more »

Do You Have What It Takes to Join Elon Musk's Team? Your Answer to This Question and 12 Others From the World's Most Influential Leaders Will Reveal Your Potential (or Lack Thereof)

“You’re standing on the surface of the Earth. You walk one mile south, one mile west, and one mile north. You end up exactly where you started. Where are you?” ... Read more »

Shah Rukh Khan hosts diplomats at Mannat. See pics from high-profile afternoon

Shah Rukh Khan hosted a gathering for diplomats at his home in Mumbai (Image: DiedrahKelly/Twitter) Shah Rukh Khan hosted a group of international diplomats at Mumbai home recently. Pictures from ... Read more »

Storyboard18 | Is Goafest still relevant?

Goafest and the Abby Awards are back after a gap of three years. (Image: Lance Asper via Unsplash) Yes, Goafest Is Back: Ajay Kakar, chief marketing officer, Aditya Birla Capital, ... Read more »

Lakshmi Venu Appointed MD Of Sundaram Clayton

Lakshmi Venu, daughter of industry veteran Venu Srinivasan, has taken over as the managing director of Sundaram-Clayton (SCL), a TVS Group company. Company website Prior to taking up the new ... Read more »

Viral video shows woman pinned down, forced to take Covid test in China

A woman is forcibly administered a Covid test in China (Image: S7i5FV0JOz6sV3A/Twitter) As China scrambles to contain a resurgence in Covid cases, disturbing visuals that have emerged online show health ... Read more »

Mother's Day 2022: These ads will make you want to call your mom right away

(Representative Illustration) Mother’s Day is just around the corner and this is the time most brands go all out with their Mother’s Day Campaign. This year’s campaigns have been quite ... Read more »

Twitter is testing conversation cards for Spaces

(Image Courtesy: Twitter) Twitter is testing a new feature for Spaces, its competitor to live audio rooms from Clubhouse, that allows listeners to engage in conversations in a simpler manner. Also Read: Musk ... Read more »

Photos of blood-splattered furniture surface in Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial

The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial began in Virginia in April Amber Heard shared more details of Johnny Depp’s alleged abuse on her second day of testimony in their ongoing, highly-publicised ... Read more »

Life as Shah Rukh Khan's lookalike is not easy: ‘I got swamped, had to call police'

Ibrahim Qadri looks uncannily like Shah Rukh Khan (Image: humansofbombay/Instagram) Life as the doppelganger of India’s biggest star cannot be easy – ask Ibrahim Qadri, who bears an uncanny resemblance ... Read more »