Cut Time: An Education at the Fights

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University of Chicago Press, 2005 - Sports & Recreation - 222 pages
"Boxing is not just fighting," writes Carlo Rotella. "It is also training and living right and preparing to go the distance in the broadest sense of the phrase, a relentless managing of self that anyone who gets truly old must learn." Rotella's Cut Time chronicles his immersion in the fight world, from the brutal classroom of the gym to the spectacle of fight night. An award-winning writer and ringside veteran, Rotella unearths the hidden wisdom in any kind of fight, from barroom brawl to HBO extravaganza.

Tracing the consequences of hurt and craft, the two central facts of boxing, Rotella reveals moving resonances between the worlds inside and outside the ropes. The brief, disastrous fistic career of one of his students pinpoints the moment when adulthood arrives; the hard-won insight of a fellow fan shows Rotella how to reckon with a car crash. Mismatches, resilience, pride, pain, and aging—Rotella's lessons from the ring extend far beyond the sport. In Cut Time, Rotella achieves the near-impossible: he makes the fight world relevant to us, whether we're fans or not.

"Cut Time should be read not just by fight aficionados but also by fans of intelligent nonfiction writing. . . . An absorbing read."—Sports Illustrated
"Just when you think it's all been written, a good writer takes a shining new look at an old subject and breathes life into it. . . . Rotella has preserved the blow-by-blow and the grandeur of another age but has somehow expanded the ring to include his own generation's proclivities and sensibility."—Los Angeles Times

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CUT TIME: An Education at the Fights

User Review  - Kirkus

Natty, cogitative essays on the sweet science, often from the perspective of the small boxing venue.Boxing, writes Rotella (Good With Their Hands, 2002; English/Boston College), "self-consciously ... Read full review

Cut time: an education at the fights

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Maybe it's our eternal search for meaning. Or maybe it's just our attempt to rationalize endless hours spent in front of the tube watching people run by, jump over, or pound on one another. Whatever ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Carlo Rotella is professor of English and the director of the American Studies Program at Boston College. He is the author of Good with Their Hands: Boxers, Bluesmen, and Other Characters from the Rust Belt and October Cities: The Redevelopment of Urban Literature. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, Harper's, and The American Scholar, which named one of his boxing pieces its Best Essay of the Year. His work has also been published in The Best American Essays. Rotella was also winner of the 2004 L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award.

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