Literary October

OCTOBER: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.

– Mark Twain

– Sergey Aksakov Russian novelist; Chronicle of a Russian Family 1791-?
– First installment of Gustave Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary is published, 1856
– Louis Untermeyer NYC-born poet, critic 1885-?
– Faith Baldwin US novelist 1893-?
– Daniel [Joseph] Boorstin Atlanta-born historian, librarian of Congress; Pulitzer for The Americans: the Democratic Experience (1973) 1914-2004

– Wallace Stevens Connecticut-born insurance salesman, poet; Pulitzer for Collected Poems (1954), 1949 Bollingen 1879-1955
– Graham Greene English prolific novelist; The Third Man (1950), Our Man in Havana (1958) 1904-1991
– Don McLean NY-born folksinger/songwriter; “American Pie” 1945-

– Sir Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke English poet, statesman; biographer of Sir Philip Sidney 1554-1628
– Mikhail Lermontov Russian romantic poet, novelist; A Hero of Our Time 1814-?
– Henri Alain-Fournier French novelist 1886-?
– Steven Crane’s novel The Red Badge of Courage is published, 1895
– Thomas [Clayton] Wolfe North Carolinian novelist; Look Homeward Angel, You Can’t Go Home Again 1900-1938
– James Herriot (born James Alfred White) Scottish writer, veterinarian; All Creatures Great and Small (1972) 1916-1995

– Gore Vidal (born Eugene Luther Vidal) NY-born writer, playwright; Burr (1973) 1925-
– folk singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie dies, 1967

– Edward Stratemayer NJ-born creator Syndicate producing over 1,300 juvenile novels; Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, Bobbsey Twins series 1862-?
– [Alfred] Damon Runyon Kansas-born, Colorado-raised short-story writer, humorist, reporter 1884-1946
– Alvin Toffler US author, futurist; Future Shock (1970) 1928- [date also given as 03/10/..]
– Jackie Collins US romance novelist 1941-
– Anne Rice New Orleans-born author; vampire novels 1941-

– Jonathan Edwards Connecticut-born theologian, sermon writer; “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God;” adapted Calvinist doctrine to Enlightenment philosophy [using pretzel logic?] 1703-1758
– Denis Diderot French encyclopaedist, literary critic, man of letters 1713-1784
– John Addington Symonds British historian, writer 1840-?
– Frederic Morton (aka Fritz Mandelbaum) Austrian/US Jewish writer 1924-
– Vaclav Havel Czech playwright, political leader 1936-

– English poet and playwright Ben Jonson dies, 1637
– Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre is published, 1847
– The American Library Association is founded in Philadelphia, 1876
– English poet Alfred Tennyson dies, 1892

– Caroline Gordon Kentucky writer 1895-?
– Thor Heyerdahl Norwegian explorer, adventure writer,; Kon-Tiki 1914-?

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

– Albert Camus

– US writer Edgar Allan Poe dies, 1849
– James Whitcomb Riley Indiana-born poet 1849-?
– US poet Oliver Wendell Holmes dies, 1894
– [Everett] Leroi Jones (aka Amiri Baraka) NJ-born African-American playwright, poet 1934-
– Thomas M. Keneally Australian novelist; Confederates, Schindler’s List 1935-

– John [Milton] Hay Indiana native poet, politician; Pike County Ballads 1838-1905
– John Cowper Powys British novelist, essayist, poet, philosopher, orator 1872-?
– Frank Herbert US science fiction writer; Dune series 1920-?
– Faith Ringgold NYC-born painter, children’s author 1930-
– RL [Richard Lawrence] Stine Columbus, Ohio-born author; Goosebumps series 1943-

– Jill Ker Conway Australian writer; first female president of Smith College 1934-
– John [Winston] Lennon English rock musician, songwriter; “Imagine” 1940-1980

– Aleksis Kivi Finnish playwright, novelist, poet 1834-?
– Ivo Andri’c Yugoslavian novelist; 1961 Nobel 1892-?
– James [du Maresq] Clavell Australian novelist, screenwriter; novel Shõgun (1975), screenplays: Thee Great Escape (1963), To Sir With Love (1967) 1924-1994
– Harold Pinter English playwright, screenwriter, director; The Caretaker (1959), The Homecoming (1964), 2005 Nobel 1930-2008

– Steen Steensen Blicher Danish poet, short-story writer 1782-?
– Francois Mauriac French novelist, poet, playwright; 1952 Nobel 1885-?
– Elmore Leonard American crime writer 1925-

October 12, the Discovery. It was wonderful to find America, but it would have been more wonderful to miss it.

– Mark Twain

– first known secular song to be published, “Three Blind Mice,” is printed in London, 1609
– George Washington Cable New Orleans-born writer; short stories, novels of Creole, Negro life; books about antebellum Louisiana 1844-1924
– Eugenio Montale Italian poet and translator 1896-?
– Ann Lane Petry Connecticut native, novelist, short story writer, children’s author; first American black woman with book sales of over a million copies ?
– Alice Childress SC-born, Harlem-raised playwright, novelist, actress; YA books Rainbow Jordan, A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich (1973) 1920-1994
– Charles Gordone Cleveland-born playwright, actor, director; Pulitzer for No Place to Be Somebody 1925-
– Robert Coles Mass. author; 1973 Pulitzer 1929-
– William J. [James] Raspberry African American journalist; longtime syndicated Washington Post columnist 1935-

– Conrad Richter Pennsylvania-born novelist; Pulitzer, A Light in the Forest 1890-?
– Arna Bontemps (born Arnauld Wendell Bontemps) Louisiana-born African-American poet, novelist, anthologist, children’s author, librarian; 100 Years of Negro Freedom 1902-?
– pioneer psychiatrist Sigmund Freud’s influential The Interpretation of Dreams is published, 1904
– Frank Gilroy US writer 1925-
– Paul Simon NJ-born folk, pop musician, songwriter; “Sounds of Silence”, “Homeward Bound”, “American Tune” 1941-

– Edward Albee’s play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opened on Broadway, 1962

– Masaoka Shiki Japanese haiku, tanka poet, diarist 1867-?
– Katherine Mansfield New Zealand short story writer 1888-?
– e. e. cummings Massachusetts-born poet, playwright, painter 1894-1962

– Eugene Fodor Hungarian-born American travel writer 1905-?

– Virgil Roman poet; The Aeneid 70 BC-?
– Robert Herrick English poet 1674-?
– Helen Hunt Jackson Massachusetts-born novelist 1830-?
– Friedrich [Wilhelm] Nietzsche German philosopher; Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-1891), Beyond Good and Evil (1886) 1844-1900
– P. G. [Pelham Grenville] Wodehouse British comedic novelist; Jeeves and Wooster series 1881-?
– C. P. Snow British novelist, scientist 1905-?
– John Kenneth Galbraith Ontario-born US economist, political writer 1908-2006
– Arthur Schlesinger Jr. US historian; 1946 Pulitzer 1917-
– Mario Puzo Cuba-born Italian-American novelist; The Godfather 1921-
– Italo Calvino author Italian Folktales 1923-
– Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain) US crime writer 1926-
– US composer and lyricist Cole Porter dies, 1964

– Noah Webster US lexicographer; compiled first American language dictionary 1758-?
– Oscar Wilde Irish wit, author; play The Importance of Being Earnest, novel The Picture of Dorian Gray 1854-1900
– Eugene [Gladstone] O’Neill US playwright; The Iceman Cometh, Mourning Becomes Elektra; 1936 Nobel 1888-?
– Guenter Grass German novelist, playwright 1927-

Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.

– Elizabeth Lawrence

– Jupiter Hammon first American black to publish poetry 1711-?
– Georg Buchner German dramatist; influenced 1890s naturalistic drama, expressionism 1813-1837
– Elinor Glyn British novelist 1864-?
– Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen), Danish author 1885-? [other birth date given?]
– Nathanael West US novelist 1903-?
– Arthur Miller US playwright; Pulitzers for: Death of a Salesman (1949), A View from the Bridge (1955); The Crucible (1953) 1915-2005
– Lerone Bennett, Jr. Mississippi-born longtime Ebony editor, black history writer 1928-

– [Bernd] Heinrich [Wilhelm] von Kleist German Romantic dramatist, poet 1777-1811 [by suicide]
– Thomas Love Peacock English author 1785-?
– H. L. Davis Northwest cowboy, reporter, poet, novelist; Honey in the Horn 1894-?
– A. J. [Abbott Joseph] Liebling NYC-born war correspondent, New Yorker writer 1904-1963
– Chuck [Charles Edward Anderson] Berry St. Louis-born rock guitarist, singer, songwriter; “Johnny B. Goode”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Sweet Little Sixteen”, “You Never Can Tell” 1926-

– Ntozake Shange (born Paulette Williams) NJ-born poet, novelist, dramatist, performer; choreo-poem for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (1976) 1948-
– Wendy Wasserstein Brooklyn-born playwright; Pulitzer for The Heidi Chronicles 1950-
– Terry McMillan Michigan-born novelist; Waiting to Exhale 1951-

– Sir Thomas Browne British physician, baroque-style writer 1605-19/10/1682
– [Pierre Ambroise Francois] Choderlos de Lacloc French writer; novel Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) 1741-1803
– Gulliver’s Travels author Jonathan Swift dies, 1745
– [James Henry] Leigh Hunt British poet, essayist; mostly remembered as champion of Keats, Shelley, and Tennyson 1784-1859
– Vincas Kreve-Mickievicius Lithuanian poet, playwright 1882-?
– Fannie Hurst Ohio-born novelist, short story writer 1889-?
– Miguel Angel Asturias Guatemalan poet, novelist 1899-?
– John Le Carré (nee David Cornwell) English espionage novelist; The Spy Who Came in from the Cold 1931-

– Thomas Hughes English author; Tom Brown’s School Days 1822-?
– Daniel Owen Welsh novelist 1836-?
– [Jean Nicolas] Arthur Rimbaud French poet; “Voyelles” 1854-1891

– Frederic Dannay (born Daniel Nathan) Brooklyn-born mystery writer; half Ellery Queen mystery writing team 1905-1982
– Art Buchwald US newspaper columnist, author 1925-
– Robert Pinsky New Jersey poet; former US Poet Laureate 1940-
– Tom Petty Florida-born rock singer, guitarist, songwriter; “An American Girl” 1950-

– Samuel Taylor Coleridge English Romantic poet, critic; The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), Kubla Khan (1816) 1772-1834

– Alphonse [Marie Louis de Prat] Lamartine French poet, statesman, man of letters; influenced French Romantic movement 1790-1869
– Ursula K. [Kroeber] LeGuin California-born science fiction/fantasy writer; Hugo and Nebula awards for: The Left Hand of Darkness (1969), The Dispossessed (1974); The Lathe of Heaven (1971), the Earth-Sea trilogy (1968-72); Pulitzer for The Farthest Shore (1972) 1929-2017

O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.

– Robert Frost

– Ivan Bunin Russian poet, novelist; 1933 Nobel 1870-?
– Dámaso Alonso Spanish philologist, critic, poet 1898-?
– Sidney Kingsley NY-born playwright, screenwriter, actor; Pulitzer 1906-?
– Doris Lessing Iran-born UK novelist; The Good Terrorist (1985) 1919-

– Robert [Seymour] Bridges English poet, physician 1844-1930
– Emily Kimbrough Indiana-born memoirist, Ladies’ Home Journal editor 1899-?
– Archie Fisher Scottish folk singer, songwriter; “Dark-Eyed Molly”, “Witch of the Westmorland” 1939-

– Michael Crichton Chicago-born novelist 1942-

– Moss Hart NYC-born playwright 1904-?
– Denise Levertov British/naturalised US citizen poet 1923-

– English poet Geoffrey Chaucer dies, 1400
– [Henri] Benjamin Constant [de Rebecque] Switzerland-born French writer, statesman; important early psychological novel, Adolphe (1815) 1767-1830
– Thomas Babbington Macaulay English poet, historian 1800-?
– Eduardo Barrios Chilean novelist 1884-?
– Henry Steele Commager Pittsburgh native, historian, constitutional scholar, history writer 1902-?
– John Berryman Oklahoma-born, Minnesotan poet 1914-
– Harold Brodkey Illinois native, novelist, New Yorker writer 1930-
– Anne Tyler Minnesota-born, NC-raised, long-time Baltimore resident, novelist; Pulitzer 1941-

– Desiderius Erasmus Dutch humanist ,writer; editions Greek, Latin classics, Church Fathers’ writings, original work 1466-1536
– Charles Sprague Boston banker, poet 1791-?
– Beryl Markham British aviatrix, memoirist; [maybe wrote] West With the Night 1902-?
– John Arden Yorkshire-born novelist, playwright 1939-
– Pat [Donald Patrick] Conroy US writer; The Water Is Wide (1972(, The Prince of Tides (1986) 1945-
– Andrew Motion London-born poet, biographer; Poet Laureate 1952-

– Enid Bagnold British author; National Velvet 1889-?
– Dylan [Marlais] Thomas Welsh poet; Collected Poems (1953) 1914-09/11/1953

– Sylvia Plath Massachusetts-born poet; autobiographical novel The Bell Jar 1932-11/02/1963 [by suicide]

– John Cleese British comedian, scriptwriter; Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers 1939-

– Fran Lebowitz NJ-born humorist 1950-

O suns and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather.

– Helen Hunt Jackson

– Georges August Escoffier French culinary artist, author 1846-?
– Gilbert Grosvenor US geographer, editor; developed National Geographic magazine 1875-?
– Evelyn [Arthur St. John] Waugh British novelist; Brideshead Revisited 1903-?
– Ayi Kwei Armah Ghanaian novelist, essayist 1939-

– James Boswell Scottish diarist, lawyer, biographer; The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) 1740-1795
– Guillermo Valencia Colombian poet, translator, statesman 1873-?
– Jean [Hippolyte] Giraudoux French playwright, novelist; La Folle de Chaillot (1943) [The Madwoman of Chaillot] 1882-1944
– Henry Green [aka Henry Vincent Yorke] English novelist 1905-?
– Dominick Dunne CT-born journalist, novelist 1925-

– Richard Brinsley Sheridan Dublin-born British playwright; The School for Scandal, The Rivals 1751-?
– André Marie de Chénier Constantinople-born French poet, political journalist 1762-1794 [executed by guillotine in French Revolution]
– Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility is published, 1811
– Paul Valery French poet, essayist 1871-?
– Ezra [Weston Loomis] Pound Idaho-born poet, critic 1885-?
– Larry Woiwode North Dakota-born novelist, poet 1941-

– John Evelyn English diarist, writer; most remembered for Diary (1818) 1620-1706
– John Keats British Romantic poet; “To A Skylark,” “ode on a Grecian Urn” 1795-1821

– Dick Francis British champion jockey, mystery novelist; Straight, Shattered 1920-2010
– Tom [Thomas Richard] Paxton Chicago-born folk singer, songwriter; “Whose Garden Was This?”, “Peace Will Come” 1937-

– great oral historian Studs Terkel dies, 2008

Oh, it’s a marvelous night for a moon dance
with all the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous time to make romance
‘neath the cover of October skies
When all the leaves on the trees are falling
to the sound of the breezes that blow …

– Van Morrison


4 Responses to Literary October

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  2. Burton says:

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