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MEOW Episode 16: Taylor Jenkins Reid, David Foster Wallace, and the Catgut Parcae

David Foster Wallace noticed early on that tennis is a good sport for literary types and purposes. It draws the obsessive and brooding. It is perhaps the most isolating of games. Even boxers have a corner, but in professional tennis it is a rules violation for your coach to communicate with you beyond polite encouragement, and spectators are asked to keep silent while you play. Your opponent is far away, or, if near, is indifferently hostile. It may be as close as we come to physical chess, or a kind of chess in which the mind and body are at one in attacking essentially mathematical problems. So, a good game not just for writers but for philosophers, too.

- John Jeremiah Sullivan, String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis

In a world where all relations have become gamified and subject-oriented, the tennis court provides the ideal soil for metaphor. In this week’s episode, we read a passage from Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestselling tennis epic Carrie Soto is Back (translated, as always, into cat language). A cat with a tennis ball in its mouth then explores its surprising parallels with David Foster Wallace’s voluminous and genre-transcending writings on the sport, meowing its thoughts with unexpected clarity.

“The lattice of the Fates twines the destinies of these disparate minds, their intersecting views reinforcing the epistemic grid to create a resilient yet malleable hermeneutic surface, imparting force and direction to the anomized and deliterated individual, as the finest catgut racket gives flight to its impetuous target.”

– Cuddle Princess, Unaltered Domestic Shorthair

This podcast is sustained by sales of our debut book, Meow: A Novel (For Cats).

MEOW is the first and only literary podcast for your cat, conceived and presented in its native language.

This podcast is sustained by sales of our debut book, Meow: A Novel (For Cats).

Praise for Meow: A Novel

"Breathtaking... a revelation." - Stubbs, Unaltered Domestic Shorthair

"Meow meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow. Meow? Meow." - Joan Didion

Follow us on Instagram: @meowliterature


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