Sport by Colin McGinn
Will Robins gets sporty with Colin McGinn.
Part of Acumen’s ‘Art of Living’ series, Sport by Colin McGinn is aimed at a level somewhere between the casual and the academic: something that the uninitiated could grapple with, but which would still be perfectly acceptable for a university professor to read on her day off.
The book takes personal experience as its starting point, beginning with the school yard game of ‘faggies’, moving on to gymnastics, kayaking and tennis, among many others. It analyses the author’s athletic excursions by using techniques borrowed from a range of disciplines and thinkers.
McGinn does tend to use autobiographical narrative as a crutch when he needs to finish a chapter or flesh out a smaller point. While one cannot use this to criticize too harshly a book that states on page one that it will follow the form of a memoir rather than a straight topic-by-topic analysis, one feels that the memoir theme is invoked rather too easily when there could often have been some deeper analysis of a chapter’s more interesting philosophical points.