Books | ‘Global Game’ anthology en route from University of Nebraska Press

The literary anthology runs the gamut of genres: poetry, short fiction, epistle, diary, journalism, testimony, chant and blog. See the University of Nebraska Press catalog for a full list of contributors.

The Global Game: Writers on Soccer is scheduled for November release—the product of some three years of compiling, winnowing and permissions seeking by myself and editors Thom Satterlee and Alon Raab, along with strong support and belief from the University of Nebraska Press in Lincoln and heroic efforts from a network of translators, working in Spanish, French, Italian, Danish, Portuguese and Slovenian.

The 352-page collection—with editorial notes and bibliographical essay—consists of 56 entries, 34 in translation. Additional languages of origin are German, Czech, Russian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Hebrew, Farsi, Japanese and classical Chinese.

Some of the highlights for me are:

  • Two literary angles on Zinédine Zidane: (1) a first translation into English (by Miranda Stramel) of Spanish novelist Javier Marías‘s rendering for El País of Zidane’s balletic 2002 Champions League–winning goal (“Fallen from the Sky”) and (2) another first translation (by Anna Kushner) of the peroration to Swiss writer Philippe Dubath‘s epistolary novel Zidane et moi: Lettre d’un footballeur à sa femme (“Zidane and Me”; see 27 Apr 06).
  • Satterlee, author of the poetry collection Burning Wyclif, adds a new poem (“Why Does My Wife Love Peter Crouch?”) and a new translation from the Danish collection Fodbold! Forfattere om fænomenet Fodbold (“The Orb” by Klaus Rifbjerg).
  • To my knowledge, for the first time in English we present the full poetic series by Umberto Saba, “Cinque poesie per il gioco del calcio” (Five Poems for the Game of Football), in a translation by Geoffrey Brock.
  • Social anthropologist Mark Nuttall offers an original essay on the place of football in Inuit cosmology and on the ball-playing traditions in the frigid hinterlands of the North (“Arsarnerit: Inuit and the Heavenly Game of Football”).
  • Former U.S. poet laureate Charles Simic generously grants us first publication in English of an essay recalling childhood memories of listening, from Belgrade, to the 1950 World Cup finals (“Dead Radio”).

From the University of Nebraska Press catalog:

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