Literatura y fútbol: otros horizontes de la literatura en España e Hispanoamérica

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


This thesis aims to analyse and provide a research approach that allows for the understanding that the relationship between literature and football in the Hispanic sphere suggests a union between the word and the ball, that is, between humans and their meanings and the world and its condition as object. In the present day, we talk about literature and football with the intention of defining this field of work which appears novel, but which has been latent for more than 80 years in the Hispanic world, as this thesis shows. Therefore, the football literature provides perspectives, both collective and individual, on that group of subjects who gather around a football, bearing witness to the manner by which they enter the world: playing it or watching it. Consequently, the football literature takes the sport away from the field and into circulation with other cultural artifacts in the world, so that humans may always have at hand its origins, its past, present and future, but above all, themselves. In this way, it is possible to explain why short stories, novels and poems are written about football, keeping at hand the theoretical arguments of Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht in In Praise of Athletic Beauty and The Production of Presence, as well as the book Homo Ludens by Johan Huizinga. In fact, beyond being an exercise in signification or reasoning in favour of an element of sport, the football literature is the result of a common interest that seeks to decipher the symbolic keys explaining why we adopt as a lifestyle a sport that, being so simple and elemental, conditions the vast majority of social and cultural drivers across the entire world. One possible hypothesis could be that short stories, novels and poems are indeed written about football, among many other reasons, because it is there that foundational elements are protected; elements that represent and symbolize the identity of a group of humans that demands to be named. The oral, the collective, the historical, the corporal, the popular, and the manner of giving name to an event so far insufficient in addressing the contemporary individual. Therefore, the football literature also reviews the behaviours and social processes experienced by our societies, and it does so in the light of football and its convening power, offering the possibility to understand those processes and those social changes from a purely symbolic and signifying perspective, and also from a purely material and corporal reality. That is, the transgressive elements of a dictatorship can be recognized and represented by means of football literature, and at the same time it is possible to discover the impact of, and fascination for, the freedom enjoyed by a player running on the field with a ball at his feet. Thus, the football novel, short story, or poem offer the reader an opportunity to recognize the narrative, epic, comedy and drama hidden in the game, given that it is necessary to engage with the figure of the player and the reasons for his desire for glory. Similarly, in the football literature in the Hispanic sphere are to be found the keys to recognizing and understanding the new avenues of creation towards which our language is being directed.
Date of Award16 Jan 2015
Original languageSpanish
SupervisorFernando Valls Guzman (Director)


  • Literature
  • Soccer
  • Hispanoameric

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