Description

    Some of John Updike's Earliest Appearances in Print - Over Eighty Contributions to His High School Newspaper

    [John Updike]. A Collection of Twenty-Five Issues of Shillington High School's Newspaper, Chatterbox. Shillington High School: Shillington, PA, 1949-1950. First editions of a non-consecutive run for those years. Quartos. Approximately 11 x 8.5 inches. Mimeographed. Each issue with staple in upper left corner removed. Various number of leaves per issue. A few issues printed in colors. Several signed "Nelson" at the top of the first leaf (these come from the collection of Barry Nelson, a classmate of Updike's and the sports editor of the newspaper). Some toning, rubbing, minor creasing and some soiling. Generally very good. Housed together in custom-built cloth clamshell case. In all, there are some eighty-one contributions (both literary and cartoon) by Updike in this collection. A fascinating collection reflecting some of the earliest work of one of the most important American men of letters of the twentieth century. From the collection of Alexander J. Jemal, Jr.

    More Information:

    John Updike attended Shillington High School from the seventh grade until the twelfth grade. During some of that time, Updike was heavily involved in this newspaper, fulfilling various tasks for it (editor, art editor, associate editor, and feature editor). He also contributed many features to this newspaper, including drawings, articles, reviews, and poems (one of which, "Ode to Seniors," which appears in the April 14, 1949 issue, was a clever literary prank which "amazed the students and befuddled the principal" (Thelma Lewis, faculty advisor to Chatterbox, as quoted in Jack DeBellis' John Updike Encyclopedia)).

    Contributions include:

    1. Under the heading "Two S.H.S, Artists Win Awards." John Updike was mentioned as one of the winners of a Gold Achievement Key in an annual fine arts contest. The Gold Key entitled Updike to enter his work in the National Scholastic Contest. (Vol. 22, February 18, 1949)

    2. There is a drawing for the "Athletics" section signed "JHU" by Updike. Pg. 4 (Vol. 22, February 25, 1949)

    3. "Hamlet Reviewed (an orgy of superlatives)." A review written by Updike. (Vol. 22, February 25, 1949)

    4. Under the heading "Try-out Staff to Edit Chatterbox," Updike was mentioned as one of the staff members (associate editor) to supervise tryouts for students aspiring for editorships. (Vol. 22, March 4, 1949)

    5. "Throw Away Those Record Books I've Hit the Extra Double Bonus." Essay by Updike. (Vol. 22, March 4, 1949)

    6. Under the heading "Invitations Enliven Evening." The article states that Updike would be giving "a Chalk Talk on Miss America." (Vol. 22, march 4, 1949)

    7. Under the heading "Try-out Staff to Edit Chatterbox." The Pen and Ink page would be supervised by Updike. (Vol. 22, March 4, 1949)

    8. "A Meal in a Cafeteria." Article in Pen and Ink section that may have been written by Updike. (Vol. 22, March 18, 1949)

    9. Under the heading "Little Excerpts and Exhortations," "Ask John Updike sometimes how he got his cut lip, or else see Peggy Lutz" (Vol. 22, March 18, 1949)

    10. "Junior Class Hats." An unsigned poem under a drawing made by Updike. (Vol. 22, March 18, 1949)

    11. "Dear Aqua And White." An unsigned poem under a drawing signed "JHU" by Updike. (Vol. 22, March 25, 1949)

    12. "The Season of Mud." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 22, April 14, 1949)

    13. There is one drawing signed "JHU" by Updike for "Athletics" on Pg. 3 (Vol. 22, April 14, 1949)

    14. There are two unsigned drawings for "Athletics" on Pg. 4 by Updike (Vol. 22, April 14, 1949)

    15. "Ode to the Seniors" A poem by Updike. (Vol. 22, April 14, 1949)

    16. "Band Presents Big Program" A full page add regarding an upcoming concert. Numerous drawings surrounding the ad. The drawings appear to be done by Updike (?) (Vol. 22, April 14, 1949

    17. "On Riding the Trolley." An article in the Pen and Ink section. Possibly written by Updike. (?) (Vol. 22, April 28, 1949

    18. "To the Juniors." A poem signed "anonymous." Under the poem the following was printed:" (Note: In answer to the genius of that Junior, J.U., we print the above poem contributed by a member of the senior class.)" (Vo. 22, April 28, 1949)

    19. "Box Score Blues." A poem by Updike (Vol. 22, April 28, 1949)

    20. "Typing Turmoil." A poem by Updike (Vol. 22, April 28, 1949)

    21. Under the heading "Chatterbox Staff Announcement Made Public to Students." It was announced that Updike would be one of the associate editors of the Chatterbox. (Vol. 22, May 6, 1949)

    22. Under the heading "Preview Presented by Vocal Groups." The article stated that a highlight of the morning's program was a miniature minstrel show by the boy's glee club, with John Updike as the interlocutor. (Vol. 22, May 6, 1949)

    23. "Ode to Eke." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 22, May 6, 1949)

    24. There is an unsigned drawing for "Athletics" on Pg. 3. (Vol. 22, May 6, 1949)

    25. There is an unsigned drawing by Updike on Pg. 4 above the column "Preview Presented by Vocal Groups." (Vol. 22, May 6, 1949)

    26. Under the heading "Thespians of Senior Class Present, Meet me in St. Louis." John Updike was listed as one of the characters of the play. (Vol. 22, Nov. 23, 1949)

    27. Under the heading "My Grievances." The associate editor Fred Muth (F.M.) made the following editor's note; "I am tired of being abused by sundry Chatterbox personnel, regardless of their identity or position.I will take no more." He then proceeded to write the poem "To J. U." The first stanza of the poem was as follows:

    "A hypocrite unequalled

    Is my dear friend J.U.

    He dissects on his Feature Page

    The Articles I do."

    (Vol. 22, November 23, 1949)

    28. "Ballad Before the News Reel (with a curtsy dropped to Ogden Nash)." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 22, Nov. 23, 1949)

    29. "Experience-The Best Teacher?" an editorial by Updike. There is an unsigned drawing by Updike above the editorial. (Vol.23, December 2, 1949)

    30. "Notes on Treatment of Typists to F.M." A poem by Updike regarding a poem that Fred Muth (F.M.) had written about his typist, Jane Becker (JB). (Vol. 23, Dec. 2, 1949) The first two stanzas of the poem are as follows:

    "A week ago a fellow scribe

    whose wrath is to be dreaded

    snarled and loosed a pointed jibe

    in my direction headed.

    He neatly finished me, and thence,

    his anger at its ripest,

    he wildly pleaded self-defense

    and disemboweled his typist."

    31. "A Sad Sad Song." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Dec. 2, 1949)

    32. There is a full cover drawing signed "John Updike." "Christmas - 1949." (Vol. 23, December 22, 1949)

    33. "A Christmas Carol for Cynics." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Dec. 22, 1949)

    34. "Greetings, Etc." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Jan. 6, 1950)

    35. Under the heading "Speaker to be Chosen for Debating Team." John Updike was named one of the students trying out for the debate team. (Vol. 23, Jan. 13, 1950)

    36. Under the heading "Seniors Plan for Class Meeting." John Updike, as one of the class officers, was mentioned as attending the meeting discussing a class gift. (Vol. 23, Jan 13, 950).

    37. "The Awful Latin Language." An unsigned article under "Pen and Ink" section. It possibly was written by Updike (?) (Vol. 23, Jan. 13, 1950)

    38. "Apologia: The Plight of a Feature Writer." Article by Updike. There is a drawing signed "JU" by Updike above the article. (Vol. 23, Jan. 13, 1950)

    39. "Diamonds." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Jan. 13, 1950)

    40. "Felis Domestica: Finis." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Jan. 13, 1950)

    41. "Amoeba." A poem by Updike (Bol. 23, Jan. 13, 1950)

    42. Comment on a Common Indecency." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 23, Jan. 23, 1950)

    43. "Acceptance of Minority Views." Editorial by Updike (Vol. 23, Jan. 20, 1950)

    44. "From a Lemming." A poem by Updike. There is a drawing signed "JU" above this poem. (Vol. 23, Jan. 20, 1950)

    45. "The Moment Called Now." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Jan. 20, 1950)

    46. "Why." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 23, Jan. 20, 1950)

    47. "Golden Rules." Unsigned article that may have been written by Updike. (Vol. 23, Jan. 27, 1950)

    48. Under the heading "Seniors Select Class Motto" John Updike was named as one of the seniors who chose the class motto. (Vol. 23, Jan. 27, 1950)

    49. "The Mags (A Series) I. Life." A poem by Updike.. There is a drawing signed "JU" above this poem. (Vol. 23, Jan. 27, 1950)

    50. "Too Busy." A poem by Updike. There is a drawing signed "JU" above this poem. (Vol. 23, Jan. 27, 1950)

    51. There is a drawing signed "JU" by Updike above the editorial, "Let's See What We Can Do." (Vol. 23, Feb. 3, 1950)

    52. "Transit Unions Reject Arbitration (headlines)" A poem by Updike. There is a drawing signed "JU" above the poem.(Vol. 23, Feb. 3, 1950)

    53. The "The Mags II - Collier's." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Feb. 3, 1950)

    54. Under the heading "Amulet to Induct Nineteen Members News Week" John Updike was named one of a group who would induct new members in the high school's chapter of the National Honor Society. (Vol. 23, Feb. 10, 1950)

    55. "The Movies." An editorial by Updike. (Vol. 23, Feb. 10, 1950)

    56. "My Play." An essay and mini play. It dealt with demands being made by former friends regarding the contents of the column. Possibly written by Updike or by John Muth, who was one of the other associate editors with Updike. (Vol. 23, Feb. 10, 1950)

    57. "Obituary." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 23, Feb. 10, 1950)

    58. "The Mags II - National Geographic." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Feb. 10, 1950)

    59."Valentine to the Hydrogen Bomb." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 23, Feb. 10, 1950)

    60. Under the heading "Poem by John Updike Appears in P.T.A. Magazine," The National Parent-Teacher Magazine accepted Updike's poem "The Boy Who Makes the Blackboard Squeak." It appeared in the February 1950 issue of the magazine. (Vol. 23, Feb. 17, 1950)

    61. Under the heading "Artists Attend Exhibition; Updike Wins Award." John Updike was presented with an award for an outstanding cartoon at the Scholastic Regional Exhibition of Art at Gimbel Brothers on February 15, 1950. During the program Updike presented a chalk talk on five distinctive types of art students. (Vol. 23, Feb. 17, 1950)

    62. "II-Radio and TV." An article by Updike. (Vol. 23, Feb.17, 1950)

    63. "The Boy Who Makes the Blackboard Squeak." This is the poem Updike wrote that was in the National P.T.A. Magazine. (Vol. 23, Feb. 17, 1950)

    64. "On the Last Day of the Season." A poem by Updike. The first stanza of the poem contains the name "Nelson." Barry Nelson was the sports editor of the high school newspaper and the copies of the high school newspaper in this collection were originally owned by him. There is an unsigned drawing by Updike above the poem. (Vol. 23, Feb. 17, 1950)

    65. "The Mags IV - The New Yorker." A short poem by Updike.

    "It would be pointless interjection

    to list the merits of perfection."

    (Vol. 23, Feb. 17, 1950)

    66. Under the heading "Shillington Plays Host to Debate." Updike represented the negative side on the topic: "Resolved: That the President of the United Sates should be elected by the direct vote of the people." (Vol. 23, Feb. 24, 1950)

    67. "Winter (dirage)." A poem by Updike. There is a drawing signed "JU" by Updike above the poem. (Vol. 23, Feb. 24, 1950)

    68. "From a Lemming (a final word)." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 23, Feb. 24, 1950)

    69. "A Solid Geometry Student Looks at Learning (a triple cinquain)." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 23, Feb. 24, 1950)

    70. "The Mags VI - Saturday evening Post (one of a series)." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 23, Feb. 24, 1950)

    71. Under the heading "Students Present Exchange Program." John Updike will present a chalk talk on distinctive types of students at Muhlenberg High School. (Vol. 23, Mar. 3, 1950)

    72. "Time is Circular in Shape." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Mar. 3, 1950)

    73. "The Mags VI - Esquire." There is a drawing signed "JU" above the poem. (Vol. 23, Mar. 3, 1950) A short poem by Updike, to wit.

    "Hers?

    No, sirs.

    His?

    Sure is."

    74. "Logic." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Mar. 3, 1950)

    75. Under the heading "Seniors Select Class Song; Updike Writes Words." 'The words of the song were written by John Updike and the tune is "Auld Lang Syne." Note: The song was printed in Hi-Life 50,' Updike's senior class book, which is a part of the collection (Vol. 23, Mar. 10, 1950). The song is set forth below:

    "Let's hope that we shall find success

    And yet ne'er lack a goal,

    Let's wish that each earn happiness,

    True love, and peace of soul.

    Look forward, if you can, my friends,

    With hope and not with fear,

    And don't regret or else forget

    Your school days here.

    When Nineteen Fifty has been placed

    Among the bygone years

    Then you may feel the bitter taste

    Of reminiscent tears.

    Remember, if you will, my friends

    What you had once held dear,

    And don't regret or else forget

    Your school days here."

    76. "Ode on a Pin Ball Machine." A poem by Updike. There are 2 unsigned drawings by Updike that accompany the poem. (Vol. 23, Apr. 14, 1950)

    77. "The Mags VIII - "Time (with a feeble stab at Timestyle)." A poem by Updike (vol. 23, Apr. 14, 1950)

    78. "Sonnet on Chaucer." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Apr. 14, 1950)

    79. "Yo-Yo Champ." A poem by Updike (Vol. 23, Apr. 28, 1950) Reprinted in Harvard Lampoon, Oct. 1951, P. 6

    80. "Move Over, Dodo." A poem by Updike. (Vol. 23, Apr. 28, 1950)

    81. Under the heading "Seniors to Replace Faculty in Senior Day Activities." John Updike was to replace his faculty member father, Wesley Updike. `





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