Football has become the global social phenomenon of our times. It is now a powerful and complex system that goes far beyond stadiums and sporting competition, having completely pervaded our daily lives. It attracts political power and mobilises economic and media forces in extreme and exaggerated fashion. It is to this sprawling world, marked by heroes and hero worship, that the dossier section of issue 17 of Electra is dedicated, with texts by Bernardo Futscher Pereira, João Sedas Nunes, José Florenzano, José Neves, Luiz Guilherme Burlamaqui, Marc Perelman, Marcos Cardão and António Guerreiro.

Also featured in this issue are an interview with and portfolio of renowned American painter Alex Katz. In his 95th year of life, as important retrospectives of his work are being organised at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid, Katz speaks to Juan Manuel Bonet, former director of the Reina Sofia Museum, about painting and painters, colour and light, life and its places.

The "First Person" section, meanwhile, features an interview with James Wood, considered by many to be the most acclaimed, dominant and feared literary critic of recent decades. In conversation with Afonso Dias Ramos, Wood reflects on his life and work as a reader, critic, teacher and writer.

In this year that marks the centenary of the birth of Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Summer 2022 edition of Electra features an evocation of this major figure of 20th century Italy by Vinícius Nicastro Honesko, Bruno Moroncini and Carla Benedetti, all noted authors of essays and studies on this iconic and topical filmmaker, writer, essayist and intellectual.

Youssef Rakha is a writer, journalist and literary critic whose work has been widely recognised and awarded. Photographers and editors André Príncipe and José Pedro Cortes met Rakha in Cairo, the city where he was born and lives, and spoke of politics, religion, art, travel and life in a feature in the "Planisphere" section in which words and images feed off each other.

The title of one of Vermeer's most famous works is also the name of a section in this edition: "View of Delft". Here, José Manuel dos Santos writes about the painting "View of Delft", the city that is represented in it, Delft, and the city where it can be seen, The Hague.  

For the "Book of Hours" section of Electra 17, Pedro Neves Marques, Portugal's representative at this year's Venice Biennale with his Vampires in Space project, builds from this narrative installation a diary consisting of evocations and meditations, addressing issues of gender identity, sexuality and queer reproduction.

Also in this issue, Italian sociologist Paolo Perulli presents a genealogy and history of the concept of "creatives"; on the occasion of Gustave Flaubert's bicentenary, Ana Rocha analyses a key episode from the novel Madame Bovary; poet and teacher Golgona Anghel interprets a sentence by the writer Emil Cioran; Afonso Dias Ramos writes about one of the most anticipated books of the last decade The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow; and Régis Salado comments on the word "Narrative".

29 Jul 2022