Archive for December, 2000

Spar Maps

Wednesday, December 20th, 2000

Spar Maps

Kate Sekules The Boxer’s Heart: How I Fell in Love With the Ring;
Lynn Snowden Picket Looking for a Fight

by Ann Marlowe

December 20 – 26, 2000

“Both boxing and drugs are ways of avoiding pain,” punk rocker-turned-journalist Kate Sekules writes in her first book, The Boxer’s Heart. “This pain means I don’t feel that pain. . . . Feeling lonely and pathetic and static and pessimistic—that is pain. Getting hit is nothing.”

Sekules here follows Freud, who wrote in Beyond the Pleasure Principle that soldiers who were wounded were less likely to develop the psychological symptoms of shell shock. A real physical injury fixes the terror to a circumscribed event that can be worked through and gotten over. Though she doesn’t quite realize it, her insight also might explain why neither she nor Lynn Snowden Picket, who wrote Looking for a Fight, stuck with boxing competitively. Middle-class professional writers weathering bad spots with men, they weren’t wounded enough psychologically to need a lifetime of bruises.