Not Since 1948

by Lance Umenhofer (Editor-in-Chief)


Tonight at midnight we open submissions for Waxing & Waning after months of planning and coordinating and thinking and brooding. We are all excited, beyond belief, especially since tonight exhibits the largest supermoon since 1948, a fitting astrological event to kick off this publication, as far as we are concerned.

And because of this, I thought it might be cool to take a trip to the past and relive some of the literary events that occurred in 1948:

  • T.S. Eliot wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  • Jack Kerouac coins the term “Beat Generation” to describe his friends and as a general term describing the underground, anti-conformist youth gathering in New York at this time to the novelist John Clellon Holmes.
  • Poet Pablo Neruda speaks out in the Senate of Chile against political repression and is forced into hiding.
  • A debate between Bertrand Russell and Frederick Copleston on the existence of God is broadcast by the BBC.
  • A private assembly of 50 major literary and artistic figures listens to a recording of Antonin Artaud’s play Pour en Finir avec le Jugement de dieu whose broadcast on French radio three days earlier has been prohibited.
  • Release of Sir Laurence Olivier’s film of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which will be the first British film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
  • The remains of Irish poet W.B. Yeats (who died at Menton, France in 1939) are re-buried at Drumcliffe, County Sligo, “Under bare Ben Bulben’s head,” having been moved from the original burial place, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, on Irish Naval Service corvette LÉ Macha. His grave at Drumcliffe, with an epitaph from “Under Ben Bulben,” one of his final poems (“Cast a cold Eye / On Life, on Death. / Horseman, pass by”), becomes a place of literary pilgrimage.
  • Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, the original manuscript of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, having been purchased by a group of American Anglophiles in 1946, is presented by Luther H. Evans (Librarian of Congress) to the British Museum Library.
  • Composer Richard Strauss sets three short poems by Hermann Hesse to music; they become part of his valedictory Four Last Songs, his final works before his death in 1949.

And some notable works published:

  • T.S. Eliot, Notes Towards the Definition of Culture
  • Robert Graves, The White Goddess, a “historical grammar” of poetic myth and inspiration
  • W.H. Auden, “In Praise of Limestone,” a poem published in Horizon in July (written in May), later published in a collection in 1951
  • John Berryman, The Dispossessed
  • Langston Hughes, One-Way Ticket, Alfred A. Knopf
  • Ezra Pound, The Pisan Cantos; The Cantos of Ezra Pound
  • Theodore Roethke, The Lost Son and Other Poems
  • Wallace Stevens, A Primitive Like an Orb, Publisher: Gotham Book Mar
  • William Carlos Williams, Paterson, Book II; Clouds, Aigeltinger, Russia
  • Truman Capote, Other Voices, Other Rooms
  • William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust
  • Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter
  • Zora Neale Hurston, Seraph on the Suwanee
  • Aldous Huxley, Ape and Essence
  • Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” & “Charles”
  • Dr. Seuss, Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose

We are proud to share this similar moment in space-time with these wonderful authors and artists, and with you as well.  Looking forward to celebrating with you all tonight at midnight!  Cheers!