Fair Game?

Forced to go public with his most private and painful truth, Arthur Ashe plays out his future in a spotlight

HERE IS THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS gone tabloid. Here is the American Church of Celebrity Trauma and Redemption. Joseph Campbell should be alive to explore its mysteries.

The dramas are curiously ritualistic and similar to one another. A celebrity wanders in the shadow world of Dysfunction: amid drugs or booze or binge eating. Or else in Denial of something, of incest, say, or child abuse, or another shameful secret. This is the Exemplary Ordeal. Celebrity Hits Bottom (descent into underworld). Then stumbles halfway up, to Betty Ford or some equivalent purgatorial rehab. At last, fallen angel reascends to the upper...

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