- Megan Barnard, Associate Director for Acquisitions and
Administration, leads a tour of the exhibition Literature
and Sport on Wednesday, July 31, at 7 p.m at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas.
The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the sudden-death play, the crushing blow, the herculean feat, the insufferable star, the sweat, the triumph, the thrill. Sport holds a sacred place in western culture and literature. Writers as diverse as Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, Norman Mailer, Marianne Moore, Don DeLillo, Joyce Carol Oates, and David Foster Wallace have written about sport. But their works are no mere play-by-play accounts. The competition, spectacle, personal struggle, and exaggerated personalities so characteristic of sport offer writers the perfect backdrop upon which to look deeply into human nature and create literature that transcends sport itself.
This exhibition showcases the literature of sport through fiction, essays, poetry, and plays. Organized by sport, the exhibition highlights some of the finest examples of literary writing about baseball, football, boxing, tennis, cricket, and other sports. From Bernard Malamud's The Natural to Norman Mailer's The Fight, great literary works capture the appeal of sport and its ability to transform both the individual and society, all the while demonstrating through lyricism and verbal dexterity how writers elevate language to literature.
The event is free, but donations are welcome. If you can’t make the curator’s tour, docent-led tours of the exhibitions are offered Tuesdays at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.
The exhibition runs through August 4. www.hrc.utexas.edu