Tennis in Literature

In this brief break between Cincinnati and the US Open, I thought I would give a few examples of our great sport popping up in major literary works (my list is not this exhaustive).

Prelude: The Tennis Court Oath and More

Jean Jacques Rousseau mentioned court/real/royal tennis in his First Discourse.  A major event in the French Revolution took place on a court/real/royal tennis court during the pivotal year of 1789 (the founding of Georgetown University being one of those 1789 events).


Shakespeare, Kippling, Wallace, and Angelou

William Shakespeare made multiple references to court/royal/real tennis.  Wimbledon has made use of poetry from Rudyard Kippling and Maya Angeou.  Also, a famous quote from Kippling on triumph and disaster is posted above the entrance to Wimbledon’s Centre Court.

Finally, I began reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.  Tennis is a major factor in this work.


Bonus – My Favorite Tennis Moment in Film

 

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3 Comments

  1. Just recently finished Infinite Jest myself. Requires some patience but a recommended read, with DFW’s own background as a junior tennis player coming through to make that side of things pretty authentic.

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