Sport studies and sports history have witnessed a recent substantial increase in publications. However, the relationship between literature and sport has been little explored. Sport, Literature, Society looks at a wide variety of case studies ranging from Japan to England, from India to Australia and covers sports as diverse as cycling, football, wrestling and boxing. It concentrates on historical perspectives. The contributors are all academics of international reputation and include historians of sport and literary scholars.
Literature may shape our perceptions and reactions to sport as much as sport may inform our reading. As mimetic practice, as aesthetic object, as imaginative release, sport is analogous to literature and the other arts; at the same time, it can become the subject of literary, visual or musical elaborations. Literature often conceptualises the place and role of sport in culture and society. Indeed, sport inhabits literature in ways that have not been adequately studied. Sport studies have investigated the relationships between sport and society, education, gender, nation, and class. To look again at these relationships through the prism of literature enables us to change our focus and to assess the centrality of sport in culture.
This book was published as a special issue of the International Journal of the History of Sport.
Table of Contents
Preface: Context, Continuity, Commentaries, Challenges 1. Prologue: Literature, Sport, and Story-Telling 2. 'The Athletic Body in Classical Athens: Literary and Historical Perspectives' 3. ‘Tumultuous Text: the imagining of Australia through Literature, Sport and Nationalism from Colonies to the Federation’ 4. ‘Cultures of the Body in Colonial Bengal: the career of Gobor Guha’ 5. ‘Conformity Confronted and Orthodoxy Outraged: The Loom of Youth – Succès de Scandale? In search of a wider reality.’ 6. ‘Cycling in circles: Flann O’Brien’s free-wheeling stories in The Third Policeman’ 7. The Imperial Imperative : Sport in the Service of Japan 8. ‘Nature boys, Supermen, Fanatics: Perspectives on Finnishness in three Sports Novels’ 9. ‘In the Ring: Gender, Spectatorship, and the Body’ 10. ‘Heroes, Fans and the Nation: Exploring Football in Contemporary Fiction’ 11. ‘Cricketing Multiculturalism in Caryl Phillips’s Playing Away’ 12. Cricket and the Nation 13. Epilogue: Global Futures: Sport and Literature
Alexis Tadié is Professor of English Literature at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, a Fellow of the Insitut Universitaire de France, and a Visiting Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford, 2012-3. He works on literature and the history of ideas in the early modern period, as well as on the literature of sport. He recently edited in French Sterne’s The Life and Opinion of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Gallimard, 2012).
J.A. Mangan, Emeritus Professor, University of Strathclyde, FRHS, FRAI, D. Litt., is Founding Editor of the International Journal of the History of Sport and the series Sport in the Global Society, author of the globally acclaimed Athleticism in the Victorian and Edwardian Public School, The Games Ethic and Imperialism and ‘Manufacturing' Masculinity: Making Imperial Manliness, Morality and Militarism and author or editor of some fifty studies of politics, culture and sport.
Supriya Chaudhuri is Professor and Co-ordinator of the Centre of Advanced Study in the Department of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. Her academic specialisations include Renaissance studies, translation, cultural history, modernism and the literature of sport.