October 2 in Literature: The Twilight Zone Premieres

The most significant events in the history of books on the 2nd of October

What significant events in history occurred on October 2nd? In the world of literature and books, the 2nd of October saw the birth of a major British novelist and a major American poet, and the premiere of a classic US TV series…

1879: Poet Wallace Stevens is born. An important voice in twentieth-century American poetry, Stevenson would proclaim that ‘the poet is the priest of the invisible.’ One of his most celebrated, but enigmatic, poems is ‘The Emperor of Ice-Cream’, which can be read here.

1904: Graham Greene is born. The author of such classic novels as Brighton Rock and The End of the Affair, he Vernor Vingeonce said that books are ‘like a sandy path which keeps the indents of footsteps.’ Reportedly Greene would write 500 words a day and then stop – even if he was in the middle of a sentence.

1944: Vernor Vinge, author of science fiction novels, is born. In 1981 he wrote a prescient novel set in the year 2014. Titled True Names, it centres on a group of computer hackers operating in what William Gibson, a year later, would term ‘cyberspace’. True Names predates Gibson’s novel Neuromancer by three years and is an important early example of cyberpunk fiction.

1950: The hugely popular comic strip Peanuts, by Charles Schulz, is first published.

1959: The Twilight Zone, featuring scripts and stories contributed by (among others) Ray Bradbury and Richard Matheson, debuts on US television. The 100th episode of the classic TV series would be an adaptation of Bradbury’s ‘I Sing the Body Electric’, with Bradbury writing the screen adaptation of his own story.

Next (perhaps inevitably): October 3 in literary history.

Image: Vernor Vinge in 2006 (authors: Raul654, Maarten1980, Zanaq), Wikimedia Commons.

One Comment

  1. Once more, an enjoyable article. I love your facts… And I understand GG’s leaving off his work in mid-sentence. I’ve become a fan of breaking off mid-scene as I’m far less likely to lose the impetus or thread of my writing than if I tidily finish a day’s work at the end of a chapter.