HAUNTS OF THE BLACK MASSEUR - the Swimmer as Hero

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9780099223313: HAUNTS OF THE BLACK MASSEUR - the Swimmer as Hero

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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About the Author:

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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Charles Sprawson
Published by Vintage (1993)
ISBN 10: 0099223317 ISBN 13: 9780099223313
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Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
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Book Description Vintage, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 336 pages. 7.80x5.12x0.83 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0099223317

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