Author, Phillip Dimitriadis, explores the relationship between Sports, Literature, Language and Mythology in His New Book, “Fandemic”
Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology, expresses the tensions of a passionate sports fan with a keen interest in literature and education.
In Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology, the author, Phillip Dimitriadis, takes us on a journey of observation and reflection over the complexity and history of sports, especially Australian football.
His book contains articles, essays, creative writing and dissertations, which showcase and critique the work of other writers in the spheres of sports, literature and mythology. The author was influenced as a child by a great love of Australian football and it inspired in him a love of language and reading. The book thoroughly examines how sports influence our world view. Even a lack of sports in one’s life can influence someone’s cultural viewpoint.
Phillip Dimitriadis observes that many types of sports including football, gravitate toward using mythical language and symbolism to express itself. He sees interesting parallels in the symbolism used in footy, such as the oval-shaped field and ball being symbols of fertility. The football field could be seen as both a labyrinth and an altar and a team’s victory could be seen as a symbol of escape from the labyrinth.
As a researcher, writer, teacher and last of all, fan, Dimitriadis also observes that many sports, including Australian football can take a fan through a range of emotions from heightened enthusiasm to anger within just moments. The range of emotions is, in fact, one of the more intriguing aspects and often takes fans on an exhilarating and emotional roller coaster ride.
According to the author, “I am fascinated by the way ancient symbolism and ideology have influenced our sporting events. Fandemic explores the unique evolution of our society, highlighting many of the cultural changes that have been shaped by our love of footy and other sports. One thing I find particularly interesting is the dearth of quality fiction about Australian Rules Football. In 155 years, no significant amount of writing has been created about this beloved sport. ”
The observations in Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology reflect upon the complexity of critiquing a cultural phenomenon that has influenced the world view of many children and adults. Even advertisers take advantage of the popularity of sports to promote their products with great success. Does this diminish the dignity of the sport or is it just another moment in its evolution?
About Phillip Dimitriadis
Phillip Dimitriadis teaches English literature and English as a second language at tertiary level. He has studied and written about sports since completing a Master’s thesis on the
Collingwood Football Club in 2004. Phillip lives in Melbourne with his wife, Dina and their daughter Anastasia.
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