Sports, Narrative, and Nation in the Fiction of F. Scott by Jarom McDonald

By Jarom McDonald

This research examines the ways in which F. Scott Fitzgerald portrayed equipped spectator activities as operating to assist constitution ideologies of sophistication, group, and nationhood. Situating the research within the panorama of past due nineteenth/early twentieth-century American recreation tradition, bankruptcy One exhibits how narratives of attending ballgames, examining or hearing activities media, and being a ‘fan,’ domesticate groups of spectatorship. Adopting this related framework, the following 3 chapters discover how Fitzgerald’s literary representations of game tradition show the complexities of yank society. bankruptcy particularly considers the ‘intense and dramatic spectacle’ of school soccer in ‘This part of Paradise’ as a way of exploring hyperlinks among spectatorship, emulation and beliefs. bankruptcy 3 maintains with university soccer as its subject, yet this time appears to be like at the way it is portrayed in Fitzgerald’s brief tales, with a view to scrutinize the connection among the performative points of game and the performative points of social category. eventually, bankruptcy 4 scrutinizes how the good Gatsby reviews the romantic nationalist ideology of ‘America’s online game’ via revealing the category divisions and tensions of baseball’s spectator tradition.

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Extra info for Sports, Narrative, and Nation in the Fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Studies in Major Literary Authors)

Example text

Scott Fitzgerald sport denies the ability to predict the future based on what has happened; there was no way to know what would happen in a given game, and hence no real way to explain what did happen. But when things seem to be predictably turning out one way, and then radically change, those who feel invested in the game, those who occupy the position of “spectator,” try to find a way to structure what they’ve witnessed; they try to find meaning in that which seems random. Fans of the Chicago Cubs turned away from the facts of the game at hand and instead towards the narratives of history in search of explanations.

In doing so, Cubs fans also latched onto a particular story that had arisen in each of those historical seasons, a story that Sianis, owner of the billy goat, had placed a literal curse on the Cubs that they could not escape. In other words, they saw in the 2003 playoffs a continuation of the curse narrative, the next logical step in the story that had begun in 1945. The 2003 playoff loss was viewed as inevitable, almost natural, given the storyline that fans constructed by viewing their tragic history through an eye of narrativization.

Fitzgerald matriculated at Princeton only a year after Hibben gave the above cited “chivalry” speech at graduation, and his years at school were saturated with personalities and attitudes both reinforcing and, at times, challenging Hibben’s vision for the University. Fitzgerald’s years at Princeton, culminating in his dropping out of the university to fight in World War I,4 is often considered (by Fitzgerald himself and by contemporary scholars) to be the most significant period in terms of formulating his interests in status, class, and nationhood, issues which he would spend a lifetime dissecting through his fiction.

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