Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Busy Louie

Having finished "The Colour of a Dog Running Away", I allowed myself a treat from my current favourite participatory-martial-arts-memoir genre, before embarking on the seven hundred odd pages of the el grupo mandated "Daniel Martin".

The New York Times says:

In the ring his nickname was Busy Louie. In the classroom, where he spends much more of his time these days, it is easy to see why. Confined by street clothes, his feints and jabs accompanied not by leather gloves but merely by a dwindling piece of chalk and a blackboard eraser, Loïc Wacquant, a professor of sociology at the University of California campus here, all but dances his way through a seminar on the criminal justice system.
Twisting, turning, hopping, scribbling, he is in constant motion, demonstrating, for an oblivious audience of a half-dozen sleep-deprived graduate students, the fleet-footed agility that fueled his brief, abortive stint as a pugilist and nearly derailed his academic career.
Body and Soul: Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer is the work in question. It is an extraordinay combination of yada yada yada:
Just as one cannot understand what an instituted religion such as Catholicism is without studying in detail the structure and functioning of the organization that supports it, in this case the Roman Church, one cannot elucidate the meaning and roots of boxing in contemporary American society-at least in the lower regions of social space, where it continues to defy an extinction periodically announced as its imminent and inevitable fate-without canvassing the fabric of the social and symbolic relations woven in and around the training gym, the hub and hidden engine of the pugilistic universe.

..... with precise, local and evocative reportage.

Check it out, you won't regret it.

1 comment:

Jenny Davidson said...

Yes! Certainly here and there you see the marks of the dissertation it must have been, but on the whole the writing is very good indeed. Makes me want to take up boxing - I have always had a bit of a yen...