Fifteen previously unpublished boxing pieces written between 1952 and 1963. Demonstrating A.J. Liebling's abiding passion for the sweet science of boxing, A Neutral Corner brings together fifteen previously unpublished pieces written between 1952 and 1963. Antic, clear-eyed, and wildly entertaining, these essays showcase a The New Yorker ...
Fifteen previously unpublished boxing pieces written between 1952 and 1963. Demonstrating A.J. Liebling's abiding passion for the sweet science of boxing, A Neutral Corner brings together fifteen previously unpublished pieces written between 1952 and 1963. Antic, clear-eyed, and wildly entertaining, these essays showcase a The New Yorker journalist at the top of his form. Here one relives the high drama of the classic Patterson-Johansson championship bout of 1959, and Liebling's early prescient portrayal of Cassius Clay's style as a boxer and a poet is not to be missed. Liebling always finds the human story that makes these essays appealing to aficionados of boxing and prose alike. Alive with a true fan's reverence for the sport, yet balanced by a true skeptic's disdain for sentiment, A Neutral Corner is an American treasure.
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Publishers Weekly, 1990-08-31 Liebling (1904-1963) was an impeccable stylist, whether covering the vagaries of the American press, the glories of France or the simple pleasures of good food. He may have reserved his best literary efforts, however, for boxing, a contention borne out by the 15 essays in this collection, all originally published in the New Yorker between 1952 and 1963. His talent for extended metaphor is beautifully displayed in ``The University of Eighth Avenue,'' about Stillman's Gym in Manhattan; for a simile in a class of its own, see his description of heavyweight champion Ingemar Johansson going down ``like a double portion of Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and sour cream.'' Liebling's brevity happily infects his description of Indianapolis as ``built around two large monuments to the wartime dead, which set the urban tone.'' These pieces are not blow-by-blow, round-by-round accounts of great fights, but observations of sporting people and places. Anyone who appreciates good prose, if not boxing, will find surprises and satisfaction here. (Oct.)
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