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Sunday Read: Joyce Carol Oates on Mike Tyson and His Autobiography, Undisputed Truth

Undisputed TruthOne of my favourite quotes from philosophy – right up there with Nietzsche’s “that which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” (recently revived by Kelly Clarkson) – is from the lips of a certain Michael Gerard “Iron Mike” Tyson, boxer: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face,” he once said.

So true. See embedded video below for evidence.

Here, a literary heavyweight champion of the world, Joyce Carol Oates, meets, you know, a standard heavyweight champion of the world who has a book out.

Does she punch him – and his Undisputed Truth – in the face? Find out:

The afterlife of a champion boxer recalls Karl Marx’s remark about history repeating itself first as tragedy, then as farce. Even when the boxer manages to retire before he has been seriously injured, it is not unlikely that repeated blows to the head will have a long-term neurological effect, and the accumulative assaults of arduous training and hard-won fights will precipitate the natural deterioration of aging; it is certainly likely that the boxer has witnessed, or even caused, very ugly incidents in the lives of other boxers. As welterweight champion Fritzie Zivic once said, “You’re boxing, you’re not playing the piano.”

I’m gonna knock you out, momma said knock you out:

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