1917 in literature
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... 1921 . 1922 . 1923 . 1924 . 1925 . 1926 . 1927 ...
In poetry: 1914 1915 1916 -1917- 1918 1919 1920
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The year 1917 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- Early? - J. R. R. Tolkien, on medical leave from the British Army, begins writing The Book of Lost Tales (the first version of The Silmarillion); thus Middle-earth is first chronicled.
- 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 printing presses they require in order to establish the Hogarth Press at their home 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Abraham Cahan — The Rise of David Levinsky
- Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay — Devdas
- Mary Cholmondeley — Under One Roof
- Joseph Conrad — The Shadow Line (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)
- Zona Gale — A Daughter of the Morning
- Joseph Hergesheimer — The Three Black Pennys
- Ricarda Huch — The Deruga Case
- Henry James (posthumously)
- Sinclair Lewis — The Job
- Oscar Micheaux — The Homesteader
- Lucy Maud Montgomery — Anne's House of Dreams
- Christopher Morley — Parnassus on Wheels
- Baroness Orczy
- 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
- Ivan Tavčar — Cvetje v jeseni ("Flowers in Autumn")
- Elizabeth von Arnim — Christine
- Robert Walser — Der Spaziergang ("The Walk")
- Mary Augusta Ward
- Edith Wharton — Summer
- P. G. Wodehouse
- Guillaume Apollinaire - The Breasts of Tiresias (Les mamelles de Tirésias, written 1903, first performed)
- Ferdinand Bruckner - Der Herr in den Nebeln
- Jean Cocteau - Parade
- John Galsworthy - Justice
- Georg Kaiser - The Corals
- A. A. Milne - Wurzel-Flummery
- Luigi Pirandello - Così è (se vi pare) ("Right You Are (If You Think So)")
- Ridgely Torrence - Three Plays for a Negro Theater
- Brita von Horn - Kring drottningen
- Jesse Lynch Williams - Why Marry?
Main article: 1917 in 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
- Clayton Adams - Ethiopia, The Land of Promise
- Max Aitken - Canada at Flanders
- Daniel Jones - An English Pronouncing Dictionary
- D'Arcy Thompson - On Growth and Form
- 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)
- June 13 – Augusto Roa Bastos, Paraguayan novelist (died 2005)
- June 16 – Katharine Graham, American journalist (died 2001)
- July 8 – J. F. Powers, American author (died 1999)
- August 24 – Ruth Park, New Zealand children's writer (died 2010)
- 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 15 – André Deutsch, British publisher (died 2000)
- December 21 – Heinrich Böll, German author, Nobel Prize-winner (died 1985)
- January 15 – William De Morgan, English artist, potter and novelist (born 1839)
- February 16 – Octave Mirbeau, French novelist and critic (born 1848)
- April 3 – Arthur Graeme West, English war poet and writer, 25 (killed in action, born 1891)
- April 9
- April 14 – L. L. Zamenhof, Polish creator of Esperanto (born 1859)
- April 21 – Francis Burnand, English dramatist and editor of "Punch" (born 1836)
- July 31
- September 28 – T. E. Hulme, English critic (killed in action, born 1883)
- November 15 – Émile Durkheim, French sociologist (born 1858)
- November 18 – Adrien Bertrand, French novelist (died of wounds, born 1888)
- 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
- "J.R.R. Tolkien Chronology". Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- Harvey, A. D. (2012). "Hugh Kingsmill on the Western Front". Notes and Queries (Oxford University Press) 59: 413–416. doi:10.1093/notesj/gjs087. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
- Svendsen, Jessica (2010). "Hogarth Press". The Modernism Lab at Yale University. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- Sassoon, Siegfried (1946). Siegfried's Journey. p. 58.
- Bédé, Jean Albert; Edgerton, William Benbow (1980). Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 237. ISBN 0-231-03717-1.
- Rubulis, Aleksis (1970). Baltic Literature. South Bend, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.
- "National Eisteddfod of Wales". Archives Hub. Retrieved 2013-08-27.
- Siregar, Bakri (1964). Sedjarah Sastera Indonesia [History of Indonesian Literature] (in Indonesian) 1. Jakarta: Akademi Sastera dan Bahasa "Multatuli". OCLC 63841626.
- "The Magician". World Digital Library. 1917. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
- Hollis, M., 2011, Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas, Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-24598-7.
- National Library of Wales: Manuscripts: Yr Arwr, Hedd Wyn. Accessed 24 February 2013
- Cross, Tim, The Lost Voices of World War I, Bloomsbury Publishing, Great Britain: 1988. ISBN 0-7475-4276-7