CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

In France, during the interwar period, sports –and particularly football– were emblematic of the yearning for spectacular events. The round ball became the stake of the show, it attracted big crowds; the game itself became more complicated, with moves and tactics directed at “making the show”. This transformation is usually explained by the mercantile exploitation of the game by greedy promoters and medias. But one should nonetheless examine the imaginary projections stirred up by football. This sport flaunts as an art of spectacular situations: the “critics” codify the rules; the players have to master the effects; and the spectators, united in a new image of the crowd, learn to appreciate it as such. The subject is this “spectacularization” of football. Besides informing us about the yearning for a harmony of views which was so important in that period, this paper aims at understanding the historicity of the entertainment industry.

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