Towards the third dimension: CLR James and his influence on sportswriting


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Steen, Robert (2013) Towards the third dimension: CLR James and his influence on sportswriting In: Beyond A Boundary 50th Anniversary Conference, Glasgow University, 5 May 2013.

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“It is sui generis - simultaneously a memoir, a sociological study, a literary-critical exercise and a work in cultural studies.” Thus did Ramachandra Guha recently praise the manifold, timeless and boundary-crossing appeal of Beyond the Boundary.Indeed, so wide is that appeal, it even ranked No.36 in Sports Illustrated’s Top 100 Sports Books of All Time (2002), a list shamelessly dominated by US authors to whom cricket is a pesky insect. No cricket book, moreover, is more revered by cricket writers. The fact remains, nonetheless, that CLR James’s masterpiece was not a book in the traditional sense but a collection of articles culled from decades of work, most of it journalistic. As such, it has had an impact on journalists as well as authors and academics. But what kind of impact? Specifically, has the book affected sportswriters in general or solely those dealing with the unique challenges of cricket? This paper will sift through and analyse the evidence, drawing on the author’s own experiences, particularly in the pressbox. Having written about many other sports besides cricket, and read BYB at a formative stage, there is no question, personally speaking, that it exerted an enormously challenging and liberating influence.

Item Type: Contribution to conference proceedings in the public domain ( Full Paper)
Subjects: L000 Social Sciences > L300 Sociology > L311 Sport and Leisure
Depositing User: Converis
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2015 03:01
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2015 03:01

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