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Football and the poetics of space

Edgar, Andrew Robert ORCID: 2015. Football and the poetics of space. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 9 (2) , pp. 153-165. 10.1080/17511321.2015.1030439

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This paper explores space as a core source of aesthetic pleasure in various codes of football. The paper begins by applying Kant’s distinction between the agreeable and the pleasurable to sport, arguing that the appreciation of sport entails more than just excitement. Pleasure comes from an appreciation of the rules, strategies and history of the game. The significance of the rules of various codes of football in articulating our experience of space will be taken as fundamental to such appreciation. Drawing on the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty and the ‘topoanalysis’ of Gaston Bachelard, it will be argued that the aesthetic appreciation of football lies, not simply in recognising the complexity and subtlety of the movement of players and ball about the pitch, but more significantly in the creative and poetic imagination that the player embodies, and the striving of the player to create places within the course of play within which they can exercise their own competence as a player, and inhibit the competence of their opponents. A poetics of football is suggested to lie in the response that poetry and reverie about football can make through the metaphorical articulation and explication of the player’s embodied imagination and their experience of the game.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 21/06/2016)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1751-1321
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 12 March 2015
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 01:01

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