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Sometimes the crack of the bat or the roar of the crowd fails to capture the meaning of sports as athletes themselves understand it. Books about sports have ignored this dimension of the subject, particularly the athletes’ own autobiographical accounts. In Sporting Lives, the first book to examine the two popular realms of sports and autobiography, James Pipkin looks at recurring patterns found in athletes’ accounts of their lives and sporting experiences, examining language, metaphor, rhetorical strategies, and other elements to analyze sports from the inside out.
Sporting Lives takes a fresh look at memoirs from baseball, football, basketball, golf, and other sports to explore how American athletes see themselves: not only how those images mesh with popular perceptions of them as heroes or celebrities but also how their accounts differ from those of sports journalists and other outsiders. Drawing on the life stories of such well-known figures as Wilt Chamberlain, Babe Ruth, and Martina Navratilova—both as-told-to and self-authored works—Pipkin follows players from the “echoing green” of eternal youth to the sometimes cultlike and isolated status of fame, interpreting recurring patterns both in the living of their lives and in the telling of them. He even considers Dennis Rodman’s four autobiographies to show how the contradictions of his self-portrayals reflect the Janus-faced quality of sports in the era of celebrity culture.
As Pipkin shows, the life of the athlete involves more than mere athleticism; it is also a world of nostalgia and sentiment, missed opportunities and lost youth. He sheds light on athletes’ common obsession with youth and body image—including gender and racial considerations—and explores their descriptions of being “in a zone,” that transcendent state when everything seems to click. And he considers the time that all athletes dread, when their bodies begin to betray them . . . and the cheering stops.
While the lives of athletes may often suggest the magic of Peter Pan, Pipkin’s engaging study reveals that they are in many ways more like the Lost Boys. Sporting Lives shows that the meaning of sports is intertwined with the telling. It is both an eminently readable book for fans and a critically sophisticated analysis that will engage scholars of literature, sports or media studies, and American popular culture.
About the Author: James W. Pipkin is Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston and the editor of English and German Romanticism: Cross-Currents and Controversies.
Title: Sporting Lives
Publisher: Univ of Missouri Press
Book Condition: BRAND NEW
Book Description University of Missouri, 2008. Condition: Very Good. 0th Edition. Ships from the UK. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Seller Inventory # GRP96832018
Book Description University of Missouri, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include cdrom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority!. Seller Inventory # S_216253469
Book Description University of Missouri. Hardcover. Condition: Good. 0826217796 Bumped and creased book with tears to the extremities, but not affecting the text block and a remainder mark to one edge - Good. Seller Inventory # Z0826217796Z3
Book Description University of Missouri Press, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. Pipkin, James. SPORTING LIVES: METAPHOR AND MYTH IN AMERICAN SPORTS AUTOBIOGRAPHIES. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, c2008. first printing. 161pp., index, bibliography. 8vo. As new unread hardcover in d/j. Seller Inventory # 18799
Book Description University of Missouri. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. 0826217796 Unused with no marks. (text+). Seller Inventory # SKU1008081
Book Description University of Missouri, 2008. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 0826217796-2-4
Book Description University of Missouri Press, Columbia, Missouri, U.S.A., 2008. Hard Cover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. Rubber stamp on front end paper. Seller Inventory # 597578
Book Description University of Missouri Press, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0826217796
Book Description Univ of Missouri Press. Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Hardcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Veteran Owned Bookshop in business since 1992!. Seller Inventory # 2655569
Book Description University of Chicago press. Condition: New. Brand New. Seller Inventory # 0826217796