Friday, August 02, 2019


The Greatest Baseball Novel Ever Written: Ring Lardner's You Know Me Al. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
The meditative quality of baseball, underscored by its lack of a clock, offers opportunities for brooding and oft-accidental epiphanies, which was perfect both for Lardner and for the oafish Keefe. When critics praise You Know Me Al, though, they tend to focus on Lardner's virtuosic rendering of a baseball player's patois. Virginia Woolf, in a review, figured this must have taken forever for him to get right, even if what he was displaying was just a well-attuned ear conditioned over many years of clubhouse comings and goings. She held him up as the best prose writer in America, even if she maintained that his "language is not English."

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