Earl “The Goat” Manigault. Herman “Helicopter” Knowings. Joe “The Destroyer” Hammond. Richard “Pee Wee” Kirkland. These and dozens of other colorfully nicknamed men are the “Asphalt Gods,” whose astounding exploits in the Rucker Tournament, often against multimillionaire NBA superstars, have made them playground divinity. First established in the 1950s by Holcombe Rucker, a New York City Parks Department employee, the tournament has grown to become a Harlem institution, an annual summer event of major proportions. On that fabled patch of concrete, unknown players have been lighting it up for decades as they express basketball as a freestyle art among their peers and against such pro immortals as Julius Erving and Wilt Chamberlain. X’s and O’s are exchanged for oohs and aahs in one of the great examples of street theater to be found in urban America.
Asphalt Gods is a streetwise, supremely entertaining oral history of a tournament that has influenced everything from NBA playing style to hip-hop culture. Now, legends transmitted by word of mouth find a home and the achievements of basketball’s greatest unknowns a permanent place in the game’s record.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Golden Age of Spanish drama extends from the close of the 15th century to the death of Calderon in 1681. During that time, the humanists, as dramatists, followed Italy's artistic awakening direction, and imitated Classical drama. With originality and dreams of greatness, they subverted the nature of tragedy; modified the approach of Comedy and invented the New Play, the "Comedia Nueva." In it the poet-dramatists introduced important modificaitons of realism, included imagined reality, Christian symbolism and theatricality, as artistic truth. They elaborate all kinds of syntheses. For this reason, the Spanish Golden Age theater can be viewed as part of a tradition that includes the Greco-Roman comedy and tragedy, Christian tragedy, and the authentic national literary and dramatic tendencies.
The entries in this reference book explore the fascinating history of the Golden Age of Spanish drama. The volume begins with an introductory overview of the literary, cultural, and historical contexts that shaped dramatic writing of the period. The book then presents alphabetically arranged essays for nineteen significant Spanish dramatists of the Golden Age. Each essay is written by an expert contributor and includes biographical information, an analysis and evaluation of major works, a discussion of critical response to the plays, and an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources. The volume closes with a selected general bibliography of central critical studies of Golden Age Spanish drama.