Saturday, July 12, 2008

The fury of Achilles

Philosopher and amateur cyclist Peter Sloterdijk on the Tour de France (I would laugh at myself if I talked like this, but it is an interesting and thought-provoking interview despite verbal extravagance and periodic silliness!):
By the way, it isn't difficult to understand why Barthes considered doping a sacrilege. For him, it was as if someone were stealing God's exclusive right to shine. In last year's Tour de France, we experienced the gruesome truth that ultimately proved Barthes right. The veil was lifted, and instead of fighters, all you saw were cycling proletarians working at a shady job. Now the poetry is gone, the sublime has been steamrolled. The riders are just regular employees. They no longer live in an aura of brilliance. Instead, they've become nothing but specialists in sprinting, cruising or climbing. Even worse is the vulgarity with which a former Tour de France winner like Bjarne Riis commented on revelations that he was a doper: "The yellow jersey is in a cardboard box in my garage. You can pick it up."
(Link courtesy of Bookforum.)

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