After 20 years of living in Italy, Tim Parks, whom Joseph Brodsky, has called "the nest British author working today," spent a full year following the fortunes-and misfortunes-of the Verona football-oops! Soccer-club. Here is his rollicking report. Fro Udine to Catania, from San Siro to the Olimpico, traveling with the fans and the players from the tip to the toe of Italy, Tim Parks offers a highly personal account of his relationship with a country, its people, and its national sport. The fans, as always are accused of vulgarity, racism, and violence. The police are ambiguous, the journeys exhausting, the referees unforgivable, the anecdotes hilarious. In a world stripped of idealism and increasingly bereft of religion, Parks suggests that soccer offers a new and fiercely ironic way of engaging with the sacred.
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Born in Manchester, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. In 1981 he moved to Italy where he has lived ever since. He is the author of novels, non-fiction and essays, including Europa, Cleaver and Teach Us to Sit Still. He has won the Somerset Maugham, Betty Trask and Llewellyn Rhys awards, and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He lectures on literary translation in Milan, writes for publications such as the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, and his many translations from the Italian include works by Moravia, Calvino, Calasso, Tabucchi and Machiavelli.From Publishers Weekly:
arks (Italian Neighbors; Tongues of Flame) sets a daunting task of analyzing the life and mindset of a soccer fan in the wake of Nick Hornby's runaway hit, Fever Pitch, which is to many one of the finer books on soccer. He takes the reader on a tour of Italy, supporting his adopted home team of Hellas Verona through a season in Serie A. Parks in part sets out to examine the Italian national consciousness through the lens of Verona supporters. "The north-east of Italy, Verona in particular, is stigmatized as irretrievably racist. It is also considered bigoted, workaholic, uncultured, crude and gross." Hellas Verona have prided themselves on never having a black player on the pitch (until recently). Their fans shout monkey chants whenever an opposing black player touches the ball. It's a disgraceful part of soccer behavior that is well worth exploring, and this is when Parks is at his best. "I suggest... that the frequent talk about `defeating' racism on the terraces is a mistake. The word `defeat' only provokes the hardliners. They don't come to the stadium to think of themselves as defeated." When he applies his social criticism, he is able to engage on many levels, but when Parks gets caught up in play-by-play analysis he loses focus and his story. He travels with the team's fans in old creaky buses, singing songs and drinking beer. Parks's fanaticism toward lowly Hellas Verona is not unique, and the supporters are not the worst of Italy. Parks's prose often sings with the bravado of the terraces, but the result is at best a draw.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción MARTIN SECKER & WARBURG LTD, 2002. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 436275953
Descripción MARTIN SECKER & WARBURG LTD, 2002. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0436275953