‘Books on the playing field’: Basque letters and essences | Soccer | Sports
Football is one of the best areas to study and, at least try, understand human beings. Given the large number of fans spread across the planet, the enormous variety of plots it offers, the mix of feelings, the economic influence, the nationalist charge, the liberating aspect of passions and the always exciting addition of uncertainty, it offers a very perspective. more complete of Humanity than many intellectuals predicted and, surely, would have desired. You can also limit the sample and limit it to a specific geographical area and a particular theme. That is what Jon Kortazar, professor of Literature in Basque, and Mari Mar Boillos, professor of Teaching of Language and Literature, have done in Books on the playing field (University of the Basque Country), a book that compiles 13 points of view, mostly from university professors, on as many aspects of Basque literature and football.
The book begins with an interesting analysis of the book That Unforgettable Age, by Ramiro Pinilla. A text that begins with the protagonist – a retired footballer due to an injury – facing his past in the form of an album card. In what seems like a novel about football, issues such as identity – one’s own and national -, ethics and even religion appear.
Chapter by chapter, themes such as the covers of the books appear – with that wonderful cover by Artur Galocha to My grandmother and ten more, in which he reinterprets the coat of arms of the Royal Society—; a didactic approach between football and theater by Karlos del Olmo; children’s and youth literature that incorporates football as an extra element for education; a complete essay on the different adaptations of The other tree of Guernica; the creation and updating of myths and idols, in which contemporary sports chronicles play an important role; an original text that analyzes the relationship between football and one of the most popular artistic – or sporting – expressions of today, the freestyle —improvisation of lyrics that are measured in what are known as cockfights—; a survey among twelve Basque soccer players about their reading habits and tastes; a well-deserved recognition to the Letters and Football festival, organized by the Athletic Club Foundation. A manual that exposes numerous details of Basque society, its relationship with football and how a team can relate so closely to a town that it can be the best way to show its essence.
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