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Sprawson makes a splash

John Bayley, 23 July 1992

Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero 
by Charles Sprawson.
Cape, 307 pp., £15.99, June 1992, 0 224 02730 1
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... ever and anon the bubbling cry/Of some strong swimmer in his agony’). In this enchanting book Charles Sprawson comments on the romantic tendency to regard a watery plunge as the ideal therapy for romantic ills, for Sénancour’s ‘inexhaustible discontent, languor and homesickness’. Those words of Matthew Arnold, half yearning and half ...

At the Pool

Inigo Thomas, 21 June 2018

... Hearst built at his Californian palace, which is filled with water pumped up from the Pacific. Charles Sprawson describes it in his history of swimming, Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero: The brilliant dark blue tiles studded with gold stars create the illusion of vast and mysterious depths and transform the interior at night into an ...


Robert Irwin: The Best Thing since Sex, 2 December 1993

... Horace, Sidney, Marlowe, Byron, Arnold, Brooke, Gide, Scott Fitzgerald and, most recently, Charles Sprawson. It is true, of course, that Vladimir Nabokov was a keen roller-skater back in Berlin in the Twenties. More recently, my own novel The Limits of Vision included an extravagantly irrelevant vignette of a Victorian roller rink. However, it ...

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