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Home Games: Essays on Baseball Fiction
     

Home Games: Essays on Baseball Fiction

by John A. Lauricella
 

These essays explore the use and significance of baseball in American prose fiction, primarily the American novel. The author understands that the classical narrative structure of exile and homecoming is reenacted in the movement of the game itself. He recalls certain episodes of baseball history as a way of recreating the contexts of baseball fictions. Two

Overview

These essays explore the use and significance of baseball in American prose fiction, primarily the American novel. The author understands that the classical narrative structure of exile and homecoming is reenacted in the movement of the game itself. He recalls certain episodes of baseball history as a way of recreating the contexts of baseball fictions. Two commentaries of baseball—one literary and the other "real"—are interwoven in each chapter.

Part One addresses allusions to baseball in canonical works of American fiction, including The Great Gatsby, The Sound and the Fury and The Old Man and the Sea, and illustrates how baseball engages signature themes of American literature: versions of the American Dream, ethnic prejudice, city work and pastoral play, cultural identity, and father-son relationships, among others.

Part Two interprets the four baseball novels—You Know Me Al, The Natural, The Southpaw and The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.—that inaugurated the baseball fiction genre and then staked its claim to artistic legitimacy. The theme that unifies the work is the prospect of "home" or "coming home," and how these fictions depict the difficult passage and its conflicted resolution.

Editorial Reviews

Nine
a significant addition...fluently and intelligently written
Sports Collectors Digest
recalls episodes of baseball history that have been used as central themes in novels
Public Library Quarterly
explores the use and significance of baseball in American fiction...thoughtful...provocative essays

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786406258
Publisher:
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date:
07/01/1999
Pages:
253
Product dimensions:
6.24(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.81(d)

Meet the Author

Writer John A. Lauricella previously published a chapter of this work in Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature. He lives in Ithaca, New York.

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