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The Global Game: Writers on Soccer

Overview

The world?s most popular sport, soccer, is also one of the planet?s prevalent cultural expressions, celebrated and debated as an art form, observed with ritual and passion. Thus it has inspired literary efforts of every sort, from every corner of the globe, by women and men. The writings gathered in this volume reflect the universal and infinitely varied ways in which soccer connects with human experience. Poetry and prose from Ted Hughes, Charles Simic, Eduardo Galeano, G?nter Grass, Giovanna Pollarolo, 2010 ...

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Overview

The world’s most popular sport, soccer, is also one of the planet’s prevalent cultural expressions, celebrated and debated as an art form, observed with ritual and passion. Thus it has inspired literary efforts of every sort, from every corner of the globe, by women and men. The writings gathered in this volume reflect the universal and infinitely varied ways in which soccer connects with human experience. Poetry and prose from Ted Hughes, Charles Simic, Eduardo Galeano, Günter Grass, Giovanna Pollarolo, 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature Winner Mario Vargas Llosa, and Elvis Costello—to name but a few—take us to a dizzying array of cultures and climes. From a patch of ground in Missoula, Montana, to a clearing in a Kosovo forest, from the stadiums of Burma and Iran to the northern lights over Greenland to remotest Sierra Leone, these writers show us soccer’s stars and fans, politics and rituals, as well as the game’s power to encourage resistance, inspire faith, and build community.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement - David Goldblatt
"The first truly global survey of writing on the global game. . . . The collection gives a powerful reminder to Anglo-Saxon literary cultures that football—the most global cultural phenomenon of all—has a rich, multivocal literary tradition."—David Goldblatt, Times Literary Supplement
Sports Literature Association - Marc Jolley
"It is worth every minute of your time to read this collection. You will never see, or experience football (soccer) the same way again."—Marc Jolley, Sports Literature Association
Only a Game - Bill Littlefield
"I admit a bias. I’m a soccer fan. If you are, too, this is the book for you. And if you aren’t, and you give The Global Game a chance, the light may yet shine upon you."—Bill Littlefield, Only A Game
MultiCultural Review - Russell Eisenman
"Those who like or study soccer, and would like to read different perspectives about it, will find much to savor."—Russell Eisenman, MultiCultural Review
Journal of Sport History - Gabe Logan
"This anthology's successful use of essays, memoirs, and poetry demonstrates the varied language of soccer."—Gabe Logan, Journal of Sport History
Andrei Markovits
"This volume features an irresistible combination: wonderfully rich essays and deeply nuanced literature authored by brilliant writers hailing from different cultures united in their love for soccer, that simple but oh so beautiful game. Kudos to the volume''s editors for enriching us with these fine texts."

-Andrei Markovits, author of Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism

Library Journal

"As much social commentary as a compendium of soccer tales and soccer reflections, this delightful collection is essential reading for the soccer fan and those interested in soccer and sport generally in a global environment. . . . Bringing a variety of writings together in one volume is a credit to the editors, who provide an excellent introduction for each entry."—Library Journal

Times Literary Supplement

"The first truly global survey of writing on the global game. . . . The collection gives a powerful reminder to Anglo-Saxon literary cultures that football—the most global cultural phenomenon of all—has a rich, multivocal literary tradition."—David Goldblatt, Times Literary Supplement

— David Goldblatt

MultiCultural Review

"Those who like or study soccer, and would like to read different perspectives about it, will find much to savor."—Russell Eisenman, MultiCultural Review

— Russell Eisenman

Duke Magazine
"From locations that span the stadiums of Burma and Iran to the northern lights over Greenland to the remotest areas of Sierra Leone, the writers celebrate the players, fans, rituals, and politics of the world's most popular sport."—Duke Magazine
Sports Literature Association

"It is worth every minute of your time to read this collection. You will never see, or experience football (soccer) the same way again."—Marc Jolley, Sports Literature Association

— Marc Jolley

Only a Game

"I admit a bias. I’m a soccer fan. If you are, too, this is the book for you. And if you aren’t, and you give The Global Game a chance, the light may yet shine upon you."—Bill Littlefield, Only A Game

— Bill Littlefield

Journal of Sport History

"This anthology''s successful use of essays, memoirs, and poetry demonstrates the varied language of soccer."—Gabe Logan, Journal of Sport History

— Gabe Logan

Duke Magazine

"From locations that span the stadiums of Burma and Iran to the northern lights over Greenland to the remotest areas of Sierra Leone, the writers celebrate the players, fans, rituals, and politics of the world's most popular sport."—Duke Magazine

Library Journal

As much social commentary as a compendium of soccer tales and soccer reflections, this delightful collection is essential reading for the soccer fan and those interested in soccer and sport generally in a global environment. Most of the 56 entries were previously published, but often in obscure sources, and 12 pieces translated from languages that include Spanish, French, German, and even Icelandic appear for the first time in English. Recognizable writers include Gay Talese, Ted Hughes, Gunter Grass, and even Elvis Costello, and formats include essays, newspaper articles, poetry, and fictional accounts of soccer. The reader will find a remarkable plea for soccer in Kosovo, a story written from prison about the 1974 World Cup match between East and West Germany, a hilarious account of soccer in Mexico featuring "Madrigal the Fool," and a life-and-death story from Hungary. Soccer often slides to the background in some of these accounts, yet the game is omnipresent. Bringing a variety of writings together in one volume is a credit to the editors, who provide an excellent introduction for each entry. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
—Boyd Childress

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803210783
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

John Turnbull is a freelance writer on soccer and an editorial consultant. He maintains www.theglobalgame.com, a soccer Web site with an accent on women’s soccer, media, and culture. Translator and author Thom Satterlee is associate professor of English at Taylor University. Alon Raab is a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Davis, and the author of articles, reviews, and interviews.
 
Contributors: Rafael Alberti, Eduard Bass, Nalinaksha Bhattacharya, Hebe de Bonafini, Lawrence Cann, Bridget Carson, Hernán Casciari, Elvis Costello, Edilberto Coutinho, Erik Eggers, Friedrich Christian Delius, György Dragomán, Philippe Dubath, Álvaro Enrigue, Eduardo Galeano, Günter Grass, Einar Már Guðmundsson, William Heyen, Miroslav Holub, Ted Hughes, Ian Jack, Elísabet Jökulsdóttir, Ephraim Kishon, Simon Kuper, Anatoly Kuznetsov, Driton Latifi, Donna J. Gelagotis Lee, Mario Vargas Llosa, Subcomandante Marcos, Javier Marías, Andrew Marshall, Stanley Matthews, Christopher Merrill, Mássimo Moratti, Lady Murasaki, Mark Nuttall, Giovanna Pollarolo, Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Paul Richards, Klaus Rifbjerg, Nelson Rodrigues, María Graciela Rodríguez, Umberto Saba, Matilde Sánchez, Thom Satterlee, Rogelio Ramos Signes, Charles Simic, Antonio Skármeta, Osvaldo Soriano, David Starkey, Gay Talese, Crispin Thomas, Bea Vidacs, Luiz Vilela, Sarah Wardle, Ch’ao Yueh-chih, and Uroš Zupan.

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Table of Contents

1 The Orb Klaus Rifbjerg Rifbjerg, Klaus 5

2 The Origins Eduardo Galeano Galeano, Eduardo 7

3 Hem and Football Nalinaksha Bhattacharya Bhattacharya, Nalinaksha 10

4 The Daily Life of Cameroonian Football Bea Vidacs Vidacs, Bea 16

5 The Soccer Moms - 1996 David Starkey Starkey, David 20

6 Atiguibas Julio Ramon Ribeyro Ribeyro, Julio Ramon 22

7 Why Eleven of All Numbers? Football between Carnival and Freemasonry Erik Eggers Eggers, Erik 30

8 Klapzuba's Eleven Eduard Bass Bass, Eduard 34

9 Holland, a Country of Clubs Simon Kuper Kuper, Simon 40

10 Ready made Alvaro Enrigue Enrigue, Alvaro 48

11 Soccer Fields, Fort Missoula Bridget Carson Carson, Bridget 56

12 "Get Him a Body Bag!" (A Brief, Enthusiastic Account) Maria Graciela Rodriguez Rodriguez, Maria Graciela 58

13 Young Shoots Lady Murasaki Murasaki, Lady 67

14 A Boy Juggling a Soccer Ball Christopher Merrill Merrill, Christopher 70

15 Fallen from the Sky Javier Marias Marias, Javier 72

16 Combing over History Stanley Matthews Matthews, Stanley 74

17 Encomiastic Arts of Our National Gamesmen Antonio Skarmeta Skarmeta, Antonio 80

18 The Longest Penalty Ever Osvaldo Soriano Soriano, Osvaldo 88

19 Fretting while the Scarlet Tide Make History Elvis Costello Costello, Elvis 96

20 Streaker Disrupts Iceland vs. Albania Einar Mar Guamundsson Guamundsson, Einar Mar 104

21 Football at Slack Ted Hughes Hughes, Ted 107

22 Dead Radio Charles Simic Simic, Charles 109

23 Fahrenheit 1976 Rogelio Ramos Signes Signes, Rogelio Ramos 112

24 Dreaming of Sunday Afternoons Giovanna Pollarolo Pollarolo, Giovanna 119

25 A Fine Fla-Flu Nelson Rodrigues Rodrigues, Nelson 121

26 Escaping with the Ball Luiz VilelaVilela, Luiz 124

27 Generals and Fools Andrew Marshall Marshall, Andrew 130

28 1974 Gunter Grass Grass, Gunter 136

29 End of the World Gyorgy Dragoman Dragoman, Gyorgy 140

30 Not So Much a Religion, More a Way of Life Ian Jack Jack, Ian 150

31 Kimmel Springs vs. Metula Ephraim Kishon Kishon, Ephraim 154

32 For the Sake of My Right and Not Football Anonymous 157

33 Let the Games Begin Subcomandante Marcos Marcos, Subcomandante Massimo Moratti Moratti, Massimo 159

34 On a Painting of Playing Football Ch'ao Yueh-chih Yueh-chih, Ch'ao 171

35 Beauty Is Nothing but the Beginning of a Terror We Can Hardly Bear Uros Zupan Zupan, Uros 172

36 Playing Football in Secret Driton Latifi Latifi, Driton 182

37 Why Does My Wife Love Peter Crouch? Thorn Satterlee Satterlee, Thorn 187

38 The Dynamo Team: Legend and Fact Anatoly Kuznetsov Kuznetsov, Anatoly 189

39 Boycotting the World Cup Hebe de Bonafini de Bonafini, Hebe Matilde Sanchez Sanchez, Matilde 195

40 Football in Athens, with Her Donna J. Gelagotis Lee Lee, Donna J. Gelagotis 199

41 Sierra Leone, Social Learning, and Soccer Paul Richards Richards, Paul 201

42 Parity William Heyen Heyen, William 206

43 Penalty Phase Gay Talese Talese, Gay 208

44 Platko (Santander, May 20, 1928) Rafael Alberti Alberti, Rafael 214

45 The Lord's Prayer, Recast Edilberto Coutinho Coutinho, Edilberto 223

46 Communicate, Lads Elisabet Jokulsdottir Jokulsdottir, Elisabet 225

47 Five Poems for the Game of Soccer Umberto Saba Saba, Umberto 230

48 Living to Tell a Tale (Letter to Diego) Hernan Casciari Casciari, Hernan 235

49 The Empty Pleasure Mario Vargas Llosa Llosa, Mario Vargas 239

50 Match Sarah Wardle Wardle, Sarah 243

51 Zidane and Me Philippe Dubath Dubath, Philippe 245

52 The Sunday I Became World Champion Friedrich Christian Delius Delius, Friedrich Christian 251

53 Art Works Football Club Lawrence Cann Cann, Lawrence 255

54 Football Is Crispin Thomas Thomas, Crispin 272

55 Arsarnerit: Inuit and the Heavenly Game of Football Mark Nuttall Nuttall, Mark 274

56 On the Origin of Football Miroslav Holub Holub, Miroslav 283

Further Reading 293

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