There’s niche blogging and then there’s niche blogging. Bless Tumblr; where once you might have sat around thinking, “Now who exactly is going to appreciate this crazy set of things I’ve found?” now you can make your wackiest, most obscure curatorial impulses public and you know they’ll find appreciation.
For instance, John Banville: Booker Prize winner, perennial Nobel longlister, adept pseudonymous alter-ego juggler. A man handy with a metaphor. Novel after novel, the man can rally to hit the sweet spot for a grand slam, keep his advantage all the way to the match point, come back with a smash. And I don’t mean that as a backhanded compliment.
You see where I’m going with this? Joseph O’Neill has the fine sport of cricket do his novelistic metaphorical heavy lifting, Frederick Exley had football, Bernard Malamud had baseball. And John Banville, apparently, has tennis. There are only five entries in this anonymous Tumblr, but that’s plenty. Someone’s been reading the man’s oeuvre and paying good attention, and we all get to reap the benefits. It may be a simple premise, but hey—it still takes balls.
(Backhand low volley demonstration courtesy of NYPL Digital Gallery.)