Masculinity in Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch 1992 One of the most prominent writings on football and football fandom is Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch. Besides the topic of football, it is the author’s own story about growing up as a British child in the 1960s, an era which was shaped by issues of class and questions about the existence of British identity. As a semi-autobiographic coming-of-age narrative about love, friendship, labour, obsession for football, the luck and success of Arsenal, Nick Hornby’s favourite team, reflects the ups and downs of his own life. Grouped as a series of short contemplations in chronological order, each chapter is given the title of a certain football match attended by the author. Interestingly enough, football and masculinity are intertwined in the novel as can be seen in the titles or subheadings of the chapters. One chapter, for example, is titled “Just like a woman” followed by the subheading “Cambridge United vs. Exeter City 29.4.78” Hornby 2006, 96 . Fever Pitch is almost written like a journal but uses the mentioned football matches instead of dates. The author states: “I have measured out my life in Arsenal fixtures” Hornby 2006, 81 . Just like a traditional coming-of age narrative, the reader follows the protagonist from childhood into adulthood. Therefore, I will analyse the meaning of multiple excerpts from Fever Pitch that are connected to different issues of masculinity, such as the protagonist’s relationship with his father, his understanding of identity or Nick Hornby’s conduct in comparison with Sigmund Freud’s ‘Oedipus complex’.
Football, Masculinity, Hegemony, Bildungs, Nick Hornby