So, you want to be a writer? All right then, here are four easy steps. 1) Read every word written by Anthony Lane. 2) Marvel at his diction, his precision, his breadth. 3) Despair that you will never, ever write like this. 4) Read every word written by Anthony Lane.
The morning of Friday, August 15th, was one of unaccustomed freshness in Beijing, and it brought forth two objects, both wreathed in legend but hitherto hard to spot. The first was a boiling ball of gases some ninety-three million miles away, known as the sun. . . .
I spoke with . . . Jay Lyon, of Canada, after he had held his nerve and taken two matches, one on the heels of the other, on the Archery Field. His first victim had been Xue Hai Feng, of China, who was ranked No. 18 at the games, twenty-nine places above Lyon, so it was quite a scalp, and he had then seen off Brady Ellison, of the United States. What was boosting him that day? “Sweet little e-mail from my mom. She said, no matter what, the sun’s still going to come up tomorrow.” Mrs. Lyon was clearly not in Beijing, where the chances of that were around fifty-fifty. “And, if I don’t do well, she’s going to kick my ass,” he added, lovingly. The other mystery weapon in Lyon’s quiver was Phil Towle, a performance coach back in the States, whose online messages had been an inspiration. “He’s also been a psychologist for Metallica,” Ryan said, as if to justify the gentleman. I had to steady myself against a passing volunteer. Metallica has a psychologist? What, exactly, is it repressing in its sylvan melodies?