Unified theory | Hornby blends football with the ‘higher’ arts

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Nick Hornby. Link to Times (U.K.) article.London | Fever Pitch author Nick Hornby (see 23 Apr 05) seems less exercised these days over the erratic form of Arsenal Football Club. Although the team still occupies a portion of his waking thoughts, “a bad game never ruins an evening,” and he is unsympathetic to criticism of top players, such as Thierry Henry. “I can’t see how any Arsenal fan can have cause for complaint…. He has been the greatest player we’ve ever had.” On literary matters, Hornby sees little separation between interest in football and other “highbrow” pursuits.

I have always believed in a unified culture—books, sport, music. In that way, I am probably quite American. To me, there is no contradiction in loving all those things. In England, we still have this strange debate about whether it is odd to be immersed in football as well as literature.

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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