The Twentieth Century – a literary timeline – part 2

a chronicle of events, literature, and politics

1920. League of Nations established; Oxford University admits women;
D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love; Nobel prize – K. Hamsun (N).

1921. Irish Free State proclaimed; extreme inflation in Germany; Fatty Arbuckle scandal in US; Nobel prize – Anatole France (F).

1922. Fascists march on Rome under Mussolini; Kemel Ataturk founds modern Turkey; T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land; James Joyce, Ulysses; Katherine Mansfield, The Garden Party; Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus; John Galsworthy, The Forsyth Saga; Nobel prize – J. Benavente (Sp).

1923. Charleston craze; BBC begins radio broadcasting in the UK; William Walton Facade; Nobel prize – W.B. Yeats (Ir).

1924. First UK Labour government formed under Ramsey MacDonald (lasts nine months); Deaths of Lenin, Franz Kafka, and Joseph Conrad; Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain; E.M. Forster, A Passage to India; Nobel prize – W. Raymont (P).

1925. John Logie Baird televises an image of a human face; Webern Wozzeck; Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf; Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway; Nobel prize – George Bernard Shaw (UK).

1926. UK General Strike; first demonstration of television in UK; Fritz Lang, Metropolis; Nobel prize – G. Deledda (I).

1927. Lindbergh flies solo across Atlantic; first talkie film – Al Jolson in ‘The Jazz Singer’; Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse; Nobel prize – Henri Bergson (Fr).


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1928. Women in UK get same voting rights as men; Death of Thomas Hardy; first Oxford English Dictionary published; penicillin discovered;
D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover;
Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall; Nobel prize – S. Undset (N).

1929. Slump in US, followed by collapse of New York Stock Exchange; Start of world economic depression; Second UK Labour government under MacDonald;
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own; first experimental television broadcast; Kurt Weil The Threepenny Opera; Nobel prize – Thomas Mann (G).

1930. Mass unemployment in UK; Death of D.H. Lawrence.
William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying; Nobel prize – Sinclair Lewis (US).

1931. Resignation of UK Labour government, followed by formation of national coalition government; Empire State building completed in New York; Virginia Woolf, The Waves; Nobel prize – R.A. Karfeldt (S).

1932. Hunger marches start in UK; scientists split the atom; air conditioning invented; Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; Nobel prize – John Galsworthy (UK).

1933. Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany; first Nazi concentration camps; prohibition ends in US; Radio Luxembourg begins commercial broadcasts to UK; George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London;Jean Vigo, L’Atalante; Nobel prize – Ivan Bunin (USSR).

1934. Hitler becomes Dictator; Evelyn Waugh, A Handful of Dust; Samuel Beckett, More Pricks than Kicks; Nobel prize – Luigi Pirandello (I).

1935. Germany re-arms; Italians invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia); Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet; Nobel prize – not awarded.

1936. Death of George V in UK, followed by Edward VIII, who is forced to abdicate; Stalinist show trials in USSR; Civil War in Spain begins; Germany re-occupies the Rheinland; BBC begins television transmissions; Aaron Copland El Salon Mexico; Nobel prize – Eugene O’Neil (USA).

1937. Neville Chamberlain UK prime minister; Destruction of Guernica;
George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier; Nobel prize – Roger Martin du Gard (Fr).


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1938. Germans occupy Austria; Chamberlain meets Hitler to make infamous Munich ‘agreement’ to prevent war; Samuel Beckett, Murphy; John Dos Passos, USA; Nobel prize – Pearl S. Buck (USA).

1939. Fascists win Civil War in Spain; Stalin makes pact with Hitler; Germany invades Poland; Britain and France declare war on Germany; helicopter invented;
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake; Nobel prize – F.E. Silanpaa (Fi).

1940. Germany invades north-west Europe; Fall of France; British troops evacuated from Dunkirk; Battle of Britain; Start of ‘Blitz’ bombing raids over London; Churchill heads national coalition government; assassination of Trotsky; Nobel prize – not awarded.

1941. Germany invades USSR; Japanese destroy US fleet at Pearl Harbour; USA enters the war; siege of Leningrad; Deaths of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf; Orson Wells, Citizen Kane; Nobel prize – not awarded.

1942. Battle of Stalingrad; Battle of Midway; Beveridge report establishes basis of modern Welfare State; T-shirt invented; Nobel prize – not awarded.

1943. Anglo-American armies invade Italy; Warsaw uprising; Nobel prize – not awarded.

1944. D-Day invasion of France; ball-point pens go on sale; German V1 and V2 rockets fired; R.A. Butler’s Education Act; Aaron Copland Appalachian Spring; Nobel prize – J.V. Jensen (Da).

1945. End of war in Europe; Atomic bombs dropped on Japan; first computer built; microwave oven invented; United Nations founded; huge Labour victory in UK general election; Atlee becomes prime minister, George Orwell, Animal Farm; Nobel prize – G. Mistral (Ch).

1946. Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ speech; Nuremberg war trials; bikinis introduced; United Nations opens in New York; Nobel prize – Herman Hesse (Sw)

1947. Marshall Plan of aid to Europe; Jewish refugees turned away by UK; Polaroid camera invented; coal and other industries nationalised in UK; transfer of power to independent India, Pakistan, and Burma. Thomas Mann, Doktor Faustus; Nobel prize – A. Gide (Fr)

1948. Berlin airlift; state of Israel founded; Railways and electricity nationalised in UK; Bevan launches National Health Service in UK. Nobel prize – T.S. Eliot (UK)

1949. East Germany created; Mao Tse Tung declares Republic of China; NATO founded; Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex; George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four; Nobel prize – W. Faulkner (USA)

 

The Twentieth Centurynext

© Roy Johnson 2009


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