Sport and Literature
The fifth YouCaxton Self-Publishing Literary Lecture ‘Writing the Game: Sport in Fiction’ will take place in the YouCaxton shop on 26 February at 6.30 pm. Jeff Hill, Emeritus Professor of History at De Montfort University, takes a particular interest in 19th and 20th century history with an emphasis on social/cultural developments in leisure. (He is currently working on a book on British popular politics and popular culture c.1880-1930s.) His chief interest in fictional literature is in its value as a source to the historian and his approach is that of an historian rather a literary critic.
We are used, nowadays, to sport on television, Jeff Hill asks if it can inspire decent literature – or should it be booted into touch because it’s too frivolous and superficial? And why has sport figured more in American creative writing than in British? Jeff Hill raises these and similar questions with reference to the work of Philip Roth, John Updike, Bernard Malamud, David Storey, Joseph O’Neill and other contemporary novelists – seeing their work as both literature and as historical source material.