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Alan Ross published the short piece with which it began in his London Magazine ; and Mr. Sprawson called on me and on other writers to see if we had anything interesting to tell him about our swimming experiences.

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His own stories, and those of his friends and family, turn out to be far more interesting. Tutored by the captain of a Turkish pilot tug, he learned how to swim the Hellespont, making allowance for tide and currents, and on his final successful crossing he was accompanied by his daughter. Rather unfairly, I thought, the Turkish skipper gave her a little medal and certificate, while her father had to be content with his own personal sense of achievement.

Haunts of Black Masseur

While the experience of total immersion should be, like baptism, a rite of joyful equality, it must be admitted that to be young and blonde and beautiful is just as much of a social advantage in the water as it is everywhere else. Having graduated in the Bosphorus, like Byron, Mr.


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Sprawson went on to tackle the Tagus estuary at Lisbon, a much more demanding swim as it turned out, and one endangered by giant tankers as well as unpredictable tides. Normally he is not fussy, as I am not myself, about the quality of the water he swims in; although all bathers would of course prefer a green pure foaming element to a stagnant one. But the pollution in the Lisbon estuary was too much for him, and together with the tides and the tankers it forced him to abandon the swim.


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  • No less than the hero on dry land, the hero in the water can be as distinguished by glorious failure as by success. Description A new re-issue of the cult swimming classic, a beautiful read filled with detailed description and powerful prose.

    Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer As Hero - Charles Sprawson - Google книги

    Bursting with anecdotes, Charles Sprawson leads us into a watery world populated by lithe demi-gods - a world that has obsessed humans from the ancient Greeks and Romans, to Yeats, Woolf, Fitzgerald and Hockney. Original, enticing and dripping with references to literature, film, art and Olympic history, this cult swimming classic pays sparkling tribute to water and the cultural meanings we attach to it. Review Text "An exhilarating plunge into some of the deepest pools inside our heads Magnificently obsessive, this social and cultural history of swimming is the best book I read this year" show more.

    Review quote "[Sprawson] has an ornate style of prose, apparently smooth, but rippling with wit and candour A haunting, sensual, slippery read that will make you long for seaweed on your skin and sand between your toes.

    Sprawson makes a splash

    Magnificently obsessive, this social and cultural history of swimming is the best book I read this year" -- J G Ballard show more. About Charles Sprawson Charles Sprawson is an obsessional swimmer and diver who has swum the Hellespont. Rating details.

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