On the evening of Friday, November 22nd, 1963, I was hidden away in my bedroom, revising for my ‘A’ Levels, when my father called me downstairs to watch the news on TV. There, transfixed, we watched the grainy.black and white images of JFK’s assassination flickering across the screen from Dallas, Texas, even then relaying unknown portents of further horrors to come, after this complete full-stop in the historical time-line.
Most people remember where they were at these momentous staging posts;when the banal, quotidian events of the day are ‘freeze-framed’ for ever, and, to my eighteen-year old mind, it felt as if the whole year was on the cusp of huge changes. A tectonic shift had taken place, played against a back-drop of other dramas; the Civil Rights Moment, Vietnam. A moment, after which, we would never be the same. We would, to quote Bob Dylan hit of ’63, be forever ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’.
And on this same day, less known, and barely reported, two ‘towering giants’ of the literary world – C.S.Lewis and Aldous Huxley – also died.