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Tytuł: The image and myth of baseball in the American culture in the light of W.P. Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe and Phil Alden Robinson's movie Field of Dreams

Karolina Ćwiklińska
Studies in Physical Culture and Tourism
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Słowa kluczowe:
baseball, American culture, myth, film, literature

The game of baseball has long been regarded as an expression of America - its history, dreams, hopes, ideals, fight for individual and collective success, for democracy and equality. As John Thorn has indicated, baseball has become "the great repository of national ideals, the symbol of all that [is] good in American life". Baseball's playing field is not only a place where games are held, it is a sacred place of ritual, an archetypal garden of timelessness and youth, one of the last places where people are allowed to dream. America's love for baseball and all that the game stands for is unique and incomparable. The aim of this article is to acknowledge and describe sport as a social, cultural and historical phenomenon and to show its importance as a part of culture, taking as the example the game of baseball and its position in America. In this article the main theoretical foundations and frames are established in order to enable any further discussion of baseball and its place in American culture. It aims at outlining the position of baseball in American popular culture by examining and discussing major works in baseball literature and film. In the first part of the article, a general history and development of the game and its mythology as well as the genre of baseball literature and film is being presented. The second part of the article presents the theme and myth of baseball in American popular culture on the example of W.P. Kinsella's novel, Shoeless Joe, and Phil Alden Robinson's film, Field of Dreams. The two works are being thoroughly examined and analyzed in order to show certain themes that appear in both the novel and the film.