A phenomenon of the late twentieth century, the professionalization of so-called "extreme" sports is a second wave of the professionalization of sports, the first wave being the tsunami of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which left behind it the world of "mainstream," "traditional," "dominant," or "established" sports in relation to which extreme sports position themselves as such. As in the first wave, the ideological proposition that sports are a "metaphor for life" figures largely in the second wave, but not in the same way. This article explores what changes: what happens to the figure of the fanatic, who had worn the mantle of the madness of the metaphor; what happens to the figure of the professional athlete as exemplary worker; and what effects these transformations have on the relation between athlete and writer in the ideological scheme of the corporate capitalist division of labor. Underlying these questions, the article pursues, in its form as well as its argument, a sustained reflection on the limits of mimetic play in the unbounded field that extreme sports have opened up.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 203-233
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.