Spot­light

Cecil Whig - - ACCENT -

On this day (Nov. 2) in 1960, Pen­guin Books was ac­quit­ted in an ob­scen­ity trial that be­fell it af­ter pub­lish­ing an un­cen­sored edi­tion­tion of D.H. Lawrence’s novel “Lady Chat­ter­ley’s Lover.” The book had orig­i­nally been pub­lished in English in a lim­ited run in the late1920s, about two years be­fore Lawrence died in 1930.

“Lady Chat­ter­ley’s Lover” de­tails the af­fair be­tween a wealthy landowner’s wife and the es­tate’s game­keeper. Its frank de­pic­tion of sex scan­dal­ized a sur­pris­ing amount of the de­vel­oped world in the mid-20th cen­tury, and to­day is noted as an im­por­tant mo­ment in the sex­ual rev­o­lu­tion that swept the Western Hemi­sphere in those decades.

On Nov. 4, 1948, a dif­fer­ently con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure in English-lan­guage lit­er­a­ture was awarded the No­bel Prize for his con­tri­bu­tions to the field. That man was T.S. Eliot, a poet, es­say­ist and pub­lisher best known for his sem­i­nal verses in “The Love Song of J. Al­fred Prufrock” and “The Waste Land.”

There is per­haps no 20th­cen­tury poet more in­flu­en­tial than Eliot, whose frac­tured, haunt­ing im­ages made up what some in his time called a new kind of poetry. His fi­nal, most fa­mous lines in “The Hol­low Men” — “This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whim­per” — still echo in con­tem­po­rary pop cul­ture.

The No­bel Prize in 1948 came at a high point in his pub­lic per­cep­tion, sev­eral years af­ter the pub­li­ca­tion of his “Four Quar­tets,” which is of­ten con­sid­ered his last great work.

Our last lit­er­ary his­tor­i­cal event this week comes to us from 1893, when Willa Cather started writ­ing for the Ne­braska State Jour­nal. Ac­cord­ing to his­tory. com, the then 19-year-old Cather’s first col­umn was pub­lished on Nov. 5.

This should be re­mem­bered as one of the first pub­li­ca­tions for a writer that would go on to write more than 10 nov­els, sev­eral of them con­sid­ered mas­ter­pieces.p Books like “My y Án­to­nia,” which was pub - lished in 1918, es­tab­lished her place among the ranks of the day’s more re­spected nov­el­ists. In 1923, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1922 novel “One of Ours,” which chron­i­cles the life of a Ne­braska na­tive near the turn of the cen­tury.

Mov­ing on to po­lit­i­cally im­por­tant his­tor­i­cal events — Abra­ham Lin­coln was elected pres­i­dent on Nov. 6, 1860.

Lin­coln, the first U.S. pres­i­dent to be elected from the fledg­ling Repub­li­can Party, re­ceived only 40 per­cent of the pop­u­lar vote, but won par­tially due to a di­vided Demo­cratic Party. He had pre­vi­ously been a Whig rep­re­sen­ta­tive to Congress.

In his 1858 U.S. Se­nate race against Stephen Dou­glas, he grew into a na­tional name for a series of pub­lic de­bates be­tween the two re­gard­ing slav­ery. Lin­coln ar­gued against the spread of slav­ery; Dou­glas be­lieved ev­ery state should have the right to choose whether it would be free or slave.

Af­ter be­com­ing the 16th U.S. pres­i­dent, Lin­coln would go on to lead the coun­try through its Civil War. In 1865, af­ter the end of the war, he was as­sas­si­nated at Ford’s Theatre in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., by Con- fed­er­ate sym­pa­thizer John Wilkes Booth.

On Nov. 8, 1994, the Repub­li­can Party won con­trol of both the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the Se­nate for the first time in 40 years. Ge­or­gia Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Newt Gin­grich led the charge as party lead­ers joined forces un­der the “Con­tract with Amer­ica,” which sought to re­duce taxes, bal­ance the bud­get and dis­man­tle so­cial wel­fare pro­grams.

The Repub­li­can ma­jor­ity in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives passed just about ev­ery bill in­cor­po­rated in the “Con­tract with Amer­ica,” in the first 100 days of Congress.

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