Jon Day

  • Home Invasion

    Edward Said thought the novel was innately cosmopolitan, a product of migration and the loss of identity that comes with it. “Classical epics,” he argued in Reflections on Exile, “emanate from settled cultures in which values are clear, identities stable, life unchanging. The European novel is grounded in precisely the opposite experience, that of a changing society in which an itinerant and disinherited middle-class hero or heroine seeks to construct a new world that somewhat resembles an old one left behind forever.” In an epic, he wrote, there’s “no other world, only the finality of this

  • Order on the Court

    The game of what is now called “real tennis” was arguably the first modern sport to be played on a standardized court rather than in the messy topography of the real world. It was the first sport to require special shoes, and its baroque rules, written down in the sixteenth century, were codified alongside those of empire. It is still played on a court that mimics the architectural idiosyncrasies of some now-lost courtly ur-space, with sloping roofs and a formal gallery. In interviews, Mexican writer Álvaro Enrigue has described the establishment of the rules of tennis as a kind of ludic mapping,