Sex and death are brought together in bullfighting. A man faces death while the crowd looks on, and so people are drawn to the arena to witness the ultimate spectator sport. Here the author explores all the definitions: sport, art form, stylized torture.
Sex and death - our two greatest preoccupations and bullfighting brings them together. We have always been fascinated by the bull, its violent beauty and innate appeal as a symbol to confront power. And the elaborate choreography of the bullfight also provides us with an opportunity to confront our great obsession - death. To watch a bullfight is an extraordinary act of voyeurism. Beyond the theatre, the costumes and the well-worn plot is the fact that a man faces death while the crowd looks on. And so people are drawn to the arena to witness the ultimate spectator sport. They go to admire gracefulness and agility, to be horrified by the proximity of death; to witness a spectacle - all part of the business of watching an animal die. And that's why we argue abut bullfighting - whether it is a sport, an art form, or simply a type of stylised torture. Definitions abound, but none of them are definitive. A. L. Kennedy explores them all, guiding us through the maelstrom of ideas with all the skill and elegance of matador.
"One of the best books of the year." - Jeanette Winterson"A strange and beautiful book." - Michael Ignatieff""On Bullfighting" casts an unofficial eye over a world of male exploit; the public spectacles are treated with a fresh particularity, the inner landscapes of pain with an ardent, high-risk honesty." - Julian Barnes"From the Trade Paperback edition."
Author received the Somerset Maughan Award, the Encore Award and the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. In 1990 she was nominated byGranta as one of the Best Young British novelists.
An exploration of the bullfight in all its facets - be it sport, art form or stylized torture. The author (perhaps surprisingly, a prize-winning female novelist) discusses the obsessive pull of watching man and bull face death, the powerful sexual symbolism, and the theatricality of the choreographed spectacle. A maelstrom of ideas. (Kirkus UK)
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