The Football Crónicas enters the academic pantheon

Christian Schwartz, the Brazilian translator of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, attended the Cambridge launch of The Football Crónicas on Monday night.  Christian was in town from the University of São Paulo, to give a lecture entitled ‘Football in Translation: National Languages and Styles of Play in Argentinean Press Reports of the 1920s’. He began his discourse by quoting from Tim Vickery's foreword to The Football Crónicas, that 'Football is a universal language that we speak with different accents'. He went on to talk about the influence of language in establishing different playing styles, particularly in relation to Spanish, Italian and English in Argentina. Returning to Vickery's foreword, Christian explained how most Brazilians never saw footage of Brazil's early World Cup triumphs: they relied on radio match commentaries, commentaries that were highly imaginative and embelished, but that Brazilian players nevertheless had to live up to on the pitch afterwards. Perhaps having to try to replicate such impossible feats forced Brazilian footballers to attempt the extraordinary; perhaps the words of the radio commentators shaped Brazil's adventurous playing style. Christian's research and conclusions will be presented in late 2014 and promise to make rewarding reading.

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