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A scribe or printer undertaking to reproduce a text faced the task of reproducing or supplying features that would help a reader navigate that text. During the period between 1350 and 1500, readers came to expect in an English book several elements that would either facilitate reading or help a reader find particular passages or topics. These elements included headings for parts of a work such as chapters or books (headings which this essay will also refer to sometimes as rubrics or as incipits and explicits); litterae notabiliores or ‘capital’ letters; paraphs; ‘running heads’ at the tops of pages to identify a text or part thereof; various kinds of marginal material which identified topics, speakers, sources translated or authorities cited in the text, which simply highlighted passages of special interest or (less often) which provided direct commentary on the text; and, in more expensive books, borders which, like headings, indicated part-divisions.
In an influential essay, M. B. Parkes has shown how the origins and growing popularity of these features related to large cultural changes in the renaissance of scholarly learning in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, such as new ways of reading, the rise of universities, the production of new kinds of books which compiled material from many sources and the composition of encyclopaedic works. The page came to be designed in ways that clarified the division of a work into parts and also the relationship of several kinds of writing that might appear on the same page.
Baseball is much more than a game. As the American national pastime, it has reflected the political and cultural concerns of US society for over 200 years, and generates passions and loyalties unique in American society. This Companion examines baseball in culture, baseball as culture, and the game's global identity. Contributors contrast baseball's massive, big-business present with its romanticized origins and its evolution against the backdrop of American and world history. The chapters cover topics such as baseball in the movies, baseball and mass media, and baseball in Japan and Latin America. Between the chapters are vivid profiles of iconic characters including Babe Ruth, Ichiro and Walter O'Malley. Crucial moments in baseball history are revisited, ranging from the 1919 Black Sox gambling scandal to recent controversies over steroid use. A unique book for fans and scholars alike, this Companion explains the enduring importance of baseball in America and beyond.
It's hard to read an American classic without finding some mention of baseball. The most famous reference is in The Great Gatsby (1925), where Nick Carraway marvels at how Gatsby's associate Meyer Wolfshiem fixed the 1919 World Series “with the single-mindedness of a burglar blowing a safe.” In the great novel of the American Dream, it seems inevitable that Nick Carraway's musings on innocence and disillusionment should encompass baseball. Allusions to baseball range from a mention of Arnold Rothstein – the real-life model for Fitzgerald's Wolfshiem – in Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon (1930), to a chapter relating a rowdy game at the Polo Grounds in E. L. Doctorow 's Ragtime (1975). Marianne Moore and Robert Pinsky, among many others, have written poetry about baseball, and a leading character in one of August Wilson 's most important plays, Fences (1983), is a former player in the Negro Leagues. A rich tradition of American nonfiction about baseball includes work by Donald Hall and John Updike.
While baseball allusions and work in other genres offer rewarding venues for criticism, this chapter focuses specifically on fiction devoted to the game. It will introduce the most accomplished examples from the relatively small canon of literary fiction about baseball, but will suggest that these can best be understood in relationship to a much larger body of juvenile, pulp, and genre fiction about baseball. Baseball writing existed largely in the realm of the popular in the first half of the twentieth century, but after World War ii there evolved a recognizable high-art tradition as well.