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Extra resources for The art and aesthetics of boxing
J. Liebling Violence is an intrinsic potentiality of most forms of human and animal life. What civilizes violence in human societies is not so much its elimination as its regulation and control through communally agreed conventions. Thus actions such as killing, unthinkable in peacetime, become tolerable within the conventions of war, while fighting between individuals, frowned upon in regular society, becomes acceptable, is indeed promoted, if it takes the form of boxing or other recognized martial arts.
So the wearing by fine specimens of male athleticism of shorts (standard masculine attire) made out of satin (conventionally a feminine fabric) worn inside out and back to front, becomes a trigger to reflection on the contradictory impulses in modern society relating to gender, undressing, nudity, and display of physical and psychological energies. Similarly, the focus on the boxing ring as an aesthetic space, a forum within which harmonious and discordant energies interrelate, seeking a resolution that is both anticipated and yet surprising, offers a fruitful analogy to the ambitions of modern art in which tensions between order and chaos, stasis and dynamism, seek harmonious resolution.
Corbett, prizefighting became, from the mid to late nineteenth century, transformed into boxing, and, as a part of mass culture, was appreciated increasingly for its scientific and aesthetic qualities (see Early 1994, 9). 2 The 1891 establishment in London of the National Sporting Club, at which many of the most memorable matches in boxing history took place, was another landmark, its influence in the normalization of boxing practice and ethos extending throughout the world — in particular to America, which would in the next century supersede England as the leading boxing country.