The Allure of Sports in Western Culture
Whether it is our love of chance and vicarious thrill, our need to release anxiety and aggression, or our appreciation of the arc traced by a ball at a crucial moment – sports draw us in.
The Allure of Sports in Western Culture contributes to contemporary debates about the attraction of sports in the West by providing a historical grounding, as well as theoretical perspectives and contextualization. Bringing together the work of literary theorists, historians, and athletes, the volume’s dual emphasis allows us to better understand the historical and ideological reasons for the changing nature of sports’ allure from Ancient Greece and Rome to the modern Olympics. The findings show that allure is shaped by larger forces such as poverty, wealth, and status; changing moral standards; and political and cultural indoctrination. On the other hand, personal and psychological factors play an equally important, if less tangible role: our love for scandal, the seduction of deception and violence, and the physiological intoxication of watching and participating in sports keep us hooked. At the heart of the volume lies the tension between our love for sport and our knowledge of its only barely hidden cruelty, exploitation, and manipulation.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 280 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationJohn Zilcosky is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, and editor of Writing Travel: The Poetics and Politics of the Modern Journey also published by the University of Toronto Press.
Marlo Alexandra Burks is an independent scholar and recent postdoctoral Fellow in the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.
Table of contents
Introduction: Allure and Ethics
I. THEORETICAL OVERTURES
1. "Allure" Constrained by "Ethics"? How Athletic Events Have Engaged Their Spectators
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
II. THE ANCIENT WORLD
3. The Fading Allure of Greek Athletics
4. Wrestling, or the Art of Disentangling Bodies
5. The Allure and Ethics of Ancient Aesthetics: Hellenism in the Modern Olympic Movement
III. MODERN EUROPE
6. Attractive or Repugnant? Running Races in Eighteenth-Century Germany and Britain
Rebekka V. Mallinckrodt
7. A Well Trained Community. Gymnastics for the German Nation
8. Importing a German Kampfsport: The Reception and Practice of Japanese Martial Arts in Interwar Germany
9. The Ethics and Allure of the Foul in Soccer
Subjects and Courses