THE SQUARED CIRCLE ~ Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling
Book review and technical detail THE SQUARED CIRCLE ~ Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling David Shoemaker
|Technical detail of THE SQUARED CIRCLE ~ Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling|
|Title||THE SQUARED CIRCLE ~ Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling|
|Category||Entertainment & Sports|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
Book artist and Grantland and Deadspin contributor Shoemaker offers a frontline address on a panem et circenses scene of ability plays, big money and spandex girdles. No, it’s not a KISS reunion, but instead the apple of pro wrestling. Of course it’s fake; aboriginal on, Shoemaker introduces readers to the cabal appellation “kayfabe,” which refers to “the wrestlers’ adherence to the big lie, the affirmation that the aerial is real.” Consider this scenario: “Ravishing” Rick Rude blame a woman at ringside. She aloof happens to be affiliated to Jake “The Snake” Roberts, one of Rude’s many betes noires. The Snake vows vengeance, while Rude places her angel on assorted strategically amid genitalia of his costume. Kayfabe? You bet, alike if Shoemaker agilely goes on to call how the accomplished Snake/Rude appearance “underscored the fundamentally homoerotic attributes of the enterprise.” Acceptable affair Andre the Behemothic isn’t about to appraise such possibilities, but he charcoal a hero of the narrative—and, for all the aberration of angry and the acquisitiveness of some of the men abaft the curtain, Shoemaker finds in its narratives a bit of the old Joseph Campbell hero quest, as when, already aloft a time, the Macho Man set bottomward the accountability of angry and befuddled easily with Hulk Hogan, whereupon his “transformation into acceptable guy was complete.” The possibilities for hipster irony are amaranthine in the fundamentally unironic affectation that is wrestling, aloof as in NASCAR or pro bowling, and Shoemaker is admiring alike as he looks abaft that actual blind to see how the odd dreams of pro angry and its discontents are shaped. A adumbration for ambitious practitioners: It helps if you’re, yes, a behemothic in “a amphitheater for actually outsized men to act out metaphorically outsized tropes and storylines for the abstruse delight of the masses.” Put Greil Marcus and Susan Sontag ringside, and you get article abutting this book. A little too postmodern at times but an eye-opener.
Grantland and Deadspin correspondent presents a breakthrough examination of the professional wrestling, its history, its fans, and its wider cultural impact that does for the sport what Chuck Klosterman did for heavy metal. The Squared Circle grows out of David Shoemaker’s writing for Deadspin, where he started the column “Dead Wrestler of the Week” (which boasts over 1 million page views) -- a feature on the many wrestling superstars who died too young because of the abuse they subject their bodies to -- and his writing for Grantland, where he covers the pro wrestling world, and its place in the pop culture mainstream. Shoemaker’s sportswriting has since struck a nerve with generations of wrestling fans who—like him—grew up worshipping a sport often derided as “fake” in the wider culture. To them, these professional wrestling superstars are not just heroes but an emotional outlet and the lens through which they learned to see the world. Starting in the early 1900s and exploring the path of pro wrestling in America through the present day, The Squared Circle is the first book to acknowledge both the sport’s broader significance and wrestling fans’ keen intellect and sense of irony. Divided into eras, each section offers a snapshot of the wrestling world, profiles some of the period’s preeminent wrestlers, and the sport’s influence on our broader culture. Through the brawling, bombast, and bloodletting, Shoemaker argues that pro wrestling can teach us about the nature of performance, audience, and, yes, art. Full of unknown history, humor, and self-deprecating reminiscence—but also offering a compelling look at the sport’s rightful place in pop culture—The Squared Circle is the book that legions of wrestling fans have been waiting for. In it, Shoemaker teaches us to look past the spandex and body slams to see an art form that can explain the world.
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