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In Praise of Athletic Beauty
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In Praise of Athletic Beauty

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  46 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
By the hundreds of millions we show up, stand in line, turn on, and tune in to watch, mesmerized, as athletes perform. And yet this experience, so widely craved and intensely felt, we commonly dismiss as "only a game." A book that looks beyond the usual explanations of why sports fascinates, In Praise of Athletic Beauty also strives for a language that can frame--even enha ...more
Hardcover, 263 pages
Published April 10th 2006 by Belknap Press
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Travis Timmons
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Gumbrecht's framework is nuanced, which makes his work unique in that its not a sports-for-sports sake work, not sociology, and not mainstream sports writing. It's a philosophical work about aesthetics, really. Plus, it's personal, which I appreciate as Gumbrecht's framework flows out of his emotional relationship to sports. Bonus: the best explication/application of Kantian aesthetic I've seen. Lovely book.
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy-etc
I bought this book having certain expectations in my mind. I remember reading several essays from Gumbrecht's "1926", and though I cannot clearly remember what they are about, I remember that I enjoyed reading them. Maybe it happened because of the form, Gumbrecht's style of writing, which is quite easy and I would even say full of grace. Having all that in mind, I took from the shelve "In Praise of Athletic Beauty".

However, I did not get what I wanted. Well, Rolling Stones warned about that sev
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Gumbrecht's fundamental premise is that there is a reason for watching sport and writing about sport that doesn't try to make it about something else. He's right, of course, for many the experience of sport is simply about sport, about body movement, about pleasure.

Even though I teach in a sports programme I am not at all 'sporty' and don't particularly like it – but I still derive pleasure from watching sport-done-well. I won't dwell on Gumbrecht's historical content – it is always unfair for
Jul 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Gumbrecht's loose and scattered little book on athletics is disappointing from an intellectual standpoint but satisfying as a document of intelligent enthusiasm and (even) autobiography. His arguments concerning beauty, agon and arete, spectatorship, and so forth are all interesting, but they seem underdeveloped, and I kept waiting for the knockout punch that would seal the connection I sense between music and sports. It didn’t come. Still, Gumbrecht, a Stanford literature professor (and avid St ...more
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
interesting book specially when gumbrecht reflects about the human body.
May 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy, sports
A really interesting attempt at defining what is so fascinating and captivating about sports without appealing to anything external or outside of sport. Worth a read by any fan or athlete.
Joaquín Torre
rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2016
Michael Minar
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Jul 07, 2016
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Oct 12, 2007
Hanna Barabakh
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Jan 19, 2017
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Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht is the Albert Guérard Professor in Literature in the Departments of Comparative Literature and of French & Italian (and by courtesy, he is affiliated with the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures/ILAC, the Department of German Studies, and the Program in Modern Thought & Literature). As a scholar, Gumbrecht focuses on the histories of the national literat ...more
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