《足球帝國——一窺英格蘭社會的華麗與蒼涼》

 

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《足球帝國——一窺英格蘭社會的華麗與蒼涼》
The Game of Our Lives: The Meaning and Making of English Football
作者:大衛.哥德布拉特(David Goldblatt)

布萊克(William Blake)的名句:「從一粒沙看世界,從一朵花見天堂。」(To see a World in a Grain of Sand. And a Heaven in a Wild Flower.)這位英倫詩人想說的是:見微,足以知著。用一個新穎角度觀察,使我們對事情了解得更透徹之餘,其實也饒富趣味。

舉個例吧,英格蘭足球在香港有不少球迷,又有沒有想過藉著它可洞察英國社會的方方面面?今次為大家介紹的《足球帝國》,就是如此一部著作。

足球號稱英國國技,而它的影響力在英國社會亦是年深月久。作者大衛‧哥德布拉特是知名的英國運動作家,尤精於足球題材寫作。他在這本書以足球為鏡,洋洋灑灑大談在足球世界反映出來「後戴卓爾年代」的英國面貌,當中包括經濟、城市身份、種族、統獨、管治與性別等議題。

400多頁的厚重篇幅下,作者充分展示了他對英國足球與社會的認識。不讀不知道,原來英國社會的諸多現象都可在足球世界中洞察。例如作者直指英格蘭國家隊近年表現疲弱根源是足總管理不善,情況一如近代英國政府水平。不難看出,這是作者「愛之深,責之切」的呼聲了。

此書中譯本面世不久,但其實原書早於2015年初出版。球迷讀者如果將新近兩年發生的英國足壇大事(例如李斯特城奇蹟奪冠)對照閱讀,相信更會另有一番體會。英國大選在即,脫歐也是如箭在弦,在這個歷史關口下,《足球帝國》這本書讀來實在別具意味。

筆者簡介:蝦叔,愛閱讀,愛寫作,愛運動。期待未來以一雙腳和一枝筆,繼續從體育探索世界。

The Game of Our Lives:
The Meaning and Making of English Football by David Goldblatt

The quote “To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower” from English poet William Blake muses about getting an understanding of the larger condition by observing small things, and in the same way the English football can be said to reflect the development of British society. Sports writer David Goldblatt tells how the national sport mirrors the state of affairs in post-Thatcher Britain in The Game of Our Lives: The Meaning and Making of English Football.

The book of over 400 pages covers the British economy, city identity, nationality, unification and independence, along with governance and gender, with Goldblatt’s observations demonstrating his familiarity with football trends and British society. At one point he compares the ineffectiveness of the British government with the mismanagement in the English Football Association that has produced poor performances by the England national team in recent years. His criticisms echo a Chinese saying: love well, chide well.

As the book was published in early 2015, football fans will find the book even more illuminating if they look back on major happenings in the English football world over the last two years such as Leicester City’s shock Premier League win that surprised many. With Britain about to hold a general election and Brexit looking inevitable, The Game of Our Lives: The Meaning and Making of English Football may give readers food for thought.

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