Sport and Fiction 3: Not Art by Péter Esterházy

Sport and Fiction 3: Not Art by Péter Esterházy

Not Art, like all good sports fiction, isn’t about sport and in many ways it isn’t even a novel. It’s a piece of autofiction by a man writing about his mother. A mother who is besotted by football and by one practitioner in particular, the great Ferenc Puskás of Hungary.

Esterházy is an interesting character, coming from an aristocratic family, and considered a major European novelist. His brother was a professional footballer and Péter himself played a bit. Continue reading “Sport and Fiction 3: Not Art by Péter Esterházy”

Good Friday, 2018. Reminders of Dermot.

Good Friday, 2018. Reminders of Dermot.

The day has greyed over from the sunny frost of early morning when I go out to the car. A discomfort in the cold northerly wind, its bite on my face. I don’t close my coat.

Colum phones just as I am parking on Cove Street, and we talk a bit about work. He’s trying to contact Eileen to call up to her before he heads home to South Kerry.

Which is a reminder of Dermot, not that I need one. I’ve been trying to write something about his funeral – only four days ago, which is as impossible to believe as the fact that he’s gone. Trying and failing; the words – nebulous to begin with – wisping to nothing somewhere between my mind and my useless fingers on the keyboard. Continue reading “Good Friday, 2018. Reminders of Dermot.”

Sport and Fiction 2: The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder

Sport and Fiction 2: The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder

This is one of the most interesting sports fiction books I’ve read. Like the best books in the genre, it isn’t about the sport in question at all – well it’s about a few elements of it: ritual, memory/nostalgia, and repetition. These are key elements of all sport and some of the reasons why we watch and participate in sport. They shouldn’t be underestimated. Continue reading “Sport and Fiction 2: The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder”

Super Bowl LII – Aw or Awe?

Super Bowl LII – Aw or Awe?

There’s an old story about John Wayne. Probably apocryphal. John played a Roman centurion in the movie The Greatest Story Ever Told, an American film from 1965 produced and directed by George Stevens. John had a small role as did many other famous actors. All he had to do, at the end of the film, after Christ was crucified, was to say the affirmative line: ‘surely this man is the son of God’. Stevens wasn’t happy that John was putting enough into it so he asked him to put more awe into the line. So John (on the zillionth take) said: ‘Aw, surely this man is the son of God’.

And that’s the way I feel about the Super Bowl. Continue reading “Super Bowl LII – Aw or Awe?”

Sporting Moments Number 2304, Johnny Sexton Drop Goal or Why We Watch Sport

Sporting Moments Number 2304, Johnny Sexton Drop Goal or Why We Watch Sport

We watch sport, and we participate in sport, because of emotions. Because we want to feel and to show emotions and sport facilitates that – it permits that. Which is no mean feat, especially when it comes to men showing their emotions.

Where else do you see people gasp and shout and scream and laugh and cry themselves hoarse and not a person around them bats an eyelid? Continue reading “Sporting Moments Number 2304, Johnny Sexton Drop Goal or Why We Watch Sport”

Listen to the robin

Listen to the robin

As I write this, the robin is singing outside. The sun is slanting up over the hedge. I can hear a rook on the roof.

I heard a lot of robins in Dublin too last weekend.

It’s time. The days are lengthening. We have daffodils and snowdrops and crocuses. It’ll be Lá Fhéile Bríde in a few days.

Listen to the robin. It’s worth your while. Continue reading “Listen to the robin”

The Winter of The Blackbird

The Winter of The Blackbird

This has been the winter of the blackbird. I haven’t been out and about much for one reason or another but I seem to be seeing and hearing blackbirds wherever I go.

I haven’t seen a redwing or a fieldfare yet, maybe they’re not around, or maybe I need to get out more. Well, that’s definitely true, I do need that. Continue reading “The Winter of The Blackbird”