Puneet Varma (Editor)

1917 in literature

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
1917 in literature

This article presents lists of literary events and publications in 1917.



  • January
  • Francis Picabia produces the first issue of the Dada periodical 391 in Barcelona.
  • Philosopher Hu Shih, the primary advocate for the revolution in Chinese literature at this time to replace scholarly language with the vernacular, publishes an article in the magazine New Youth (Xin Qingnian) entitled "A Preliminary Discussion of Literature Reform", in which he originally emphasizes eight guidelines that all Chinese writers should take to heart.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien, on medical leave from the British Army at Great Haywood, begins writing The Book of Lost Tales (the first version of The Silmarillion), starting with the "Fall of Gondolin"; thus Tolkien's mythopoeic Middle-earth legendarium is first chronicled in prose.
  • February 4/5 – English writer Hugh Kingsmill is taken prisoner while fighting in France.
  • February 16 – The publishing house of Boni & Liveright is established in New York City by Horace Liveright with Albert Boni, and establishes the "Modern Library" imprint.
  • April – Leonard and Virginia Woolf take delivery of the hand printing press they require in order to establish the Hogarth Press at their home, Hogarth House in Richmond upon Thames. Their first publication is Two Stories.
  • June 4 – The first Pulitzer Prizes are awarded: Laura E. Richards, Maude H. Elliott, and Florence Hall receive the first Pulitzer for a biography (for Julia Ward Howe); Jean Jules Jusserand receives the first Pulitzer for history for his work With Americans of Past and Present Days; and Herbert B. Swope receives the first Pulitzer for journalism for his work for the New York World.
  • June 18 – Luigi Pirandello's drama Right You Are (if you think so) (Così è (se vi pare)) is premièred in Milan.
  • July – Siegfried Sassoon issues his "Soldier's Declaration" against prolongation of World War I and is sent (with assistance from Robert Graves) by the military authorities to Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh, where, on August 18, Wilfred Owen introduces himself. With Sassoon's encouragement, Owen writes his two great war poems, "Anthem for Doomed Youth" and "Dulce et Decorum est" at this time, although like almost all his poetry they remain unpublished until after his death in action next year.
  • c. Summer – The Siuru expressionistic and neo-romantic literary movement in Estonia is formed by a group of young poets and writers.
  • September 6 – At the National Eisteddfod of Wales held at Birkenhead, the Chairing of the Bard ceremony ends dramatically with the chair being draped in black, signifying that the winner, Hedd Wyn, had died a month earlier in battle.
  • October 20 – 51-year-old poet W. B. Yeats marries 25-year-old Georgie Hyde-Lees at Harrow Road register office in London (with Ezra Pound as best man) a couple of months after having had a proposal of marriage to his ex-mistress's daughter, Iseult Gonne, rejected.
  • December 25 – Jesse Lynch Williams' Why Marry?, the first dramatic play to win a Pulitzer Prize, opens at the Astor Theatre (New York).
  • The colonial government of the Dutch East Indies establishes the Kantoor voor de Volklectuur ("Office for People's Reading"), later renamed Balai Pustaka.
  • The Marc Chagall illustrated version of The Magician (דער קונצענמאכער, Der Kuntsenmakher) by I. L. Peretz (d. 1915) is published in Vilnius.
  • Fiction

  • Elizabeth von Arnim — Christine
  • Mariano Azuela — Los caciques (The Bosses)
  • Henri Barbusse — Under Fire (first English language edition)
  • Adrien Bertrand — L'Orage sur le jardin de Candide
  • Rhoda Broughton — A Thorn in the Flesh
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • A Princess of Mars
  • The Son of Tarzan
  • Abraham Cahan — The Rise of David Levinsky
  • Gilbert Cannan — The Stucco House
  • Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay — Devdas
  • Mary Cholmondeley — Under One Roof
  • Joseph Conrad — The Shadow Line (serialization concluded & in book form)
  • Clemence Dane — Regiment of Women
  • Miguel de Unamuno — Abel Sánchez
  • Norman Douglas — South Wind
  • Arthur Conan Doyle — His Last Bow (collected Sherlock Holmes stories)
  • Edna Ferber — Fanny Herself
  • Anna Katharine Green — The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow
  • Zona Gale — A Daughter of the Morning
  • Joseph Hergesheimer — The Three Black Pennys
  • Ricarda Huch — The Deruga Case (Der Fall Deruga)
  • Henry James (posthumously)
  • The Ivory Tower
  • The Sense of the Past
  • Sinclair Lewis — The Job
  • Jack London — Jerry of the Islands
  • Oscar Micheaux — The Homesteader
  • Christopher Morley — Parnassus on Wheels
  • Baroness Orczy
  • Lord Tony's Wife
  • A Sheaf of Bluebells
  • David Graham Phillips — Susan Lenox: Her Rise and Fall
  • Marmaduke Pickthall — Knights of Araby
  • Ernest Poole — His Family
  • Horacio Quiroga — Cuentos de amor de locura y de muerte
  • Henry Handel Richardson (Et Florence Robertson) — Australia Felix (first part of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony)
  • May Sinclair — The Tree of Heaven
  • Annie M. P. Smithson — Her Irish Heritage
  • Hermann Sudermann — The Excursion to Tilsit (Litauische Geschichten)
  • Ivan Tavčar — Cvetje v jeseni ("Flowers in Autumn")
  • Robert Walser — Der Spaziergang ("The Walk")
  • Mary Augusta Ward
  • Missing
  • Towards the Goal
  • The War and Elizabeth
  • Alec Waugh — The Loom of Youth
  • Edith Wharton — Summer
  • P. G. Wodehouse
  • The Man with Two Left Feet (collected stories)
  • Piccadilly Jim
  • Children and young people

  • Lucy Maud Montgomery — Anne's House of Dreams
  • Drama

  • Guillaume Apollinaire – The Breasts of Tiresias (Les mamelles de Tirésias, written 1903, first performed)
  • Bruce Bairnsfather and Arthur Elliot – The Better 'Ole
  • Ferdinand Bruckner – Der Herr in den Nebeln
  • Gilbert Cannan – Everybody's Husband
  • Jean Cocteau – Parade
  • John Drinkwater – X = 0: A Night of the Trojan War
  • John Galsworthy – Justice
  • Georg Kaiser – The Corals
  • A. A. Milne – Wurzel-Flummery
  • Luigi Pirandello – Right You Are (if you think so)
  • Gertrude Stein – An Exercise in Analysis
  • Ridgely Torrence – Three Plays for a Negro Theater
  • Brita von Horn – Kring drottningen
  • Jesse Lynch Williams – Why Marry?
  • Poetry

  • Lascelles Abercrombie – Emblems Of Love
  • T. S. Eliot – Prufrock, and other observations
  • Robert Graves – Fairies and Fusiliers
  • Ivor Gurney – Severn and Somme
  • James Weldon Johnson – Fifty Years and Other Poems
  • Joseph Lee – Work-a-Day Warriors
  • Siegfried Sassoon – The Old Huntsman, and Other Poems
  • Alan Seeger (posthumously) – Poems (including "I have a rendezvous with Death")
  • Edward Thomas (posthumously) – Poems (including "Adlestrop")
  • William Watson – The Man Who Saw: and Other Poems Arising out of the War
  • W. B. Yeats – The Wild Swans at Coole, Other Verses and a Play in Verse
  • Non-fiction

  • Max Aitken – Canada at Flanders
  • Daniel Jones – An English Pronouncing Dictionary
  • D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson – On Growth and Form
  • Births

  • January 6 – Maeve Brennan, Irish-born short story writer and journalist (died 1993)
  • February 11 – Sidney Sheldon, American novelist (died 2007)
  • February 25 – Anthony Burgess, English novelist (died 1993)
  • March 1 – Robert Lowell, American poet (died 1977)
  • March 17 – Carlo Cassola, Italian novelist (died 1987)
  • April 9 – Johannes Bobrowski, German author (died 1965)
  • May 16 – Juan Rulfo, Mexican fiction writer (died 1986)
  • June 13 – Augusto Roa Bastos, Paraguayan novelist (died 2005)
  • June 16 – Katharine Graham, American journalist (died 2001)
  • June 17 – Gwendolyn Brooks, American poet (died 2000)
  • July 8 – J. F. Powers, American author (died 1999)
  • July 15 – Robert Conquest, English-born historian and poet (died 2015)
  • August 24 – Ruth Park, New Zealand children's writer (died 2010)
  • October 5 – Magda Szabó, Hungarian novelist, dramatist and essayist (died 2007)
  • October 24 – Denys Val Baker, Welsh writer (died 1984)
  • October 31 – Patience Gray, English cookery and travel writer (died 2005)
  • November 3 – Conor Cruise O'Brien, Irish biographer and political writer (died 2008)
  • November 12 – Leila Berg, English children's author and education writer (died 2015)
  • November 28 – Marni Hodgkin (Marion Rous), American-born children's book editor (died 2015)
  • December 21 – Heinrich Böll, German Nobel Prize winning novelist (died 1985)
  • Unknown date – Fadwa Toukan, Palestinian poet (died 2003)
  • Deaths

  • January 15 – William De Morgan, English novelist and potter (born 1839)
  • February 16 – Octave Mirbeau, French novelist and critic (born 1848)
  • April 3 – Arthur Graeme West, English war poet and military writer (killed in action, born 1891)
  • April 9
  • Edward Thomas, British poet and prose writer (killed in action, born 1878)
  • R. E. Vernède, English war poet (killed in action, born 1875)
  • April 14 – L. L. Zamenhof, Polish creator of Esperanto (born 1859)
  • April 21 – Francis Burnand, English dramatist and editor (born 1836)
  • July 31
  • Francis Ledwidge, English war poet (killed in action, born 1887)
  • Hedd Wyn, Welsh-language poet (killed in action, born 1887)
  • September 28 – T. E. Hulme, English critic (killed in action, born 1883)
  • October 16 – Walter Flex, German author (died of wounds, born 1887)
  • November 15 – Émile Durkheim, French sociologist (born 1858)
  • November 18 – Adrien Bertrand, French novelist (died of wounds, born 1888)
  • Georges de Peyrebrune, French novelist (born 1841)
  • Awards

  • Nobel Prize for Literature: Karl Adolph Gjellerup, Henrik Pontoppidan
  • In literature

  • March 8 (February 23 O.S.) – The Russian February Revolution begins in Petrograd. This is the background to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's novels in The Red Wheel sequence March 1917 and April 1917 (publication begins 1989).
  • August 18 – First meeting between Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, the basis of Stephen MacDonald's drama Not About Heroes (1982) and Pat Barker's novel Regeneration (1991).
  • World War I – The following novels are among those set during the war this year
  • Philippe Claudel – Les Âmes grises (2005)
  • Colette – Mitsou (novella, 1919)
  • Frank Dalby Davison – The Wells of Beersheba: An Epic of the Australian Light Horse 1914-1918 (1933)
  • Ben Elton – The First Casualty (2005)
  • References

    1917 in literature Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    On the Threshold of Space
    Amir Blumenfeld
    Michael Potts (footballer)