Magazine
Latest Issue

Why is it so hard to fictionalise sport?

I've written several novels about athletes—writing about winning and losing is the most difficult part

Liverpool winning the European Cup on a more dramatic night (Photo: Steve Hale/LFC)

At the end of Brecht’s Threepenny Opera, the robber Macheath stands ready to be hanged. He is guilty as charged, but at the last minute his reprieve arrives on horseback, a pardon from the king. “So that at least in the opera we can witness,” runs the commentary, “mercy, for once, take priority over justice.”

We see these reprieves in sports all the time. Manchester United used to make a habit of them—including those two…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect