A celebration of swimming includes commentary on swimming pulled from the works of Goethe, Fitzgerald, Mishima, and Swinburne; snippets from Olympic history; photographs of literary greats submerged; and pieces from the great Hollywood ""swimming musicals.""
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Charles Sprawson is an obsessional swimmer and diver. He recently swam the Hellespont.From Publishers Weekly:
Sprawson, an English art dealer who swam the Hellespont, has produced a delightful, profound cultural and literary history of swimming, bathing and the social meanings of water from ancient Greece to the modern Olympics. Swimmers, he contends, frequently fall prey to delusions and neuroses spawned by their solitary training. Flaubert and Shelley had an "erotic, neurotic affinity with water"; Swinburne took a masochistic delight in being scraped by pebbles and pounded by waves; and novelist Baron Corvo (Frederick Rolfe), a passionate swimmer, bathed in "morbid self-admiration and absorption in a fantasy world." Sprawson deftly probes the differing values associated with swimming by various cultures. The English, who swam naked until the Victorian Age, saw bathing as a means of social reform. Germans from Goethe to Thomas Mann linked swimming to a Faustian quest for knowledge, to spiritual perfection and, in Leni Riefenstahl's films, to a cult of athleticism. In the U.S., according to Sprawson, swimming has been associated with refuge and withdrawal, citing as examples F. Scott Fitzgerald's fiction and David Hockney's paintings of Southern California. This invigorating excursion affords a fabulous dip with the likes of Poe, Byron, Virginia Woolf, Yukio Mishima, Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Haunts of the Black Masseur is a dazzling introduction to the great swimming heroes: Byron leaping into the surf at Shelley s beach funeral, Hart Crane, swallow-diving to his death in the Bay of Mexico, Ulysses, Leander, Weismuller and many more. In lively prose bursting with anecdote, Charles Sprawson leads us into a watery world populated by lithe demi-Gods - one that has obsessed humans from the ancient Greeks and Romans, to Yeats, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald and David Hockney. Original, enticing and dripping with references to literature, film, art and Olympic history, this cult swimming classic pays sparkling tribute to water and the cultural meanings we attach to it. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099223313
Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0099223317. Bookseller Inventory # ST0099223317
Book Description Vintage, 1993. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # GH9780099223313
Book Description Vintage, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 336 pages. 7.80x5.12x0.83 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0099223317
Book Description Vintage, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 336 pages. 7.80x5.12x0.83 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0099223317