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Nightwood (New Edition)
Nightwood (New Edition) | Djuna Barnes
The fiery and enigmatic masterpiece—one of the greatest novels of the Modernist era. Nightwood, Djuna Barnes' strange and sinuous tour de force, "belongs to that small class of books that somehow reflect a time or an epoch" (Times Literary Supplement). That time is the period between the two World Wars, and Barnes' novel unfolds in the decadent shadows of Europe's great cities, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna—a world in which the boundaries of class, religion, and sexuality are bold but surprisingly porous. The outsized characters who inhabit this world are some of the most memorable in all of fiction—there is Guido Volkbein, the Wandering Jew and son of a self-proclaimed baron; Robin Vote, the American expatriate who marries him and then engages in a series of affairs, first with Nora Flood and then with Jenny Petherbridge, driving all of her lovers to distraction with her passion for wandering alone in the night; and there is Dr. Matthew-Mighty-Grain-of-Salt-Dante-O'Connor, a transvestite and ostensible gynecologist, whose digressive speeches brim with fury, keen insights, and surprising allusions. Barnes' depiction of these characters and their relationships (Nora says, "A man is another persona woman is yourself, caught as you turn in panic; on her mouth you kiss your own") has made the novel a landmark of feminist and lesbian literature. Most striking of all is Barnes' unparalleled stylistic innovation, which led T. S. Eliot to proclaim the book "so good a novel that only sensibilities trained on poetry can wholly appreciate it." Now with a new preface by Jeanette Winterson, Nightwood still crackles with the same electric charge it had on its first publication in 1936.
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review
youneverarrived
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Panpan

Not the type of book you can just read and get easily lost in. I had to concentrate on every word otherwise I lost the point or thread (sometimes it felt like there wasn‘t much of one) but at the same time it‘s a novel that‘s best read if you just go with it. It‘s more of a ‘mood‘ book than one that focuses on the story. Its a bit of a strange one. I feel like I should have loved it but after the first 20 pages I didn‘t really enjoy reading it.

StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Where are you? That place looks cool. 11mo
Eyelit Sorry the book wasn‘t good. Your background, however, is lovely!! 11mo
readordierachel Where is that? Those arches are so pretty 😍 11mo
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Cathythoughts Sounds kind of a complicated book ?! 11mo
youneverarrived @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego @readordierachel it was at Tinturn Abbey. Such a lovely place. 11mo
youneverarrived @Eyelit thanks! It was a lovely place ❤️ 11mo
youneverarrived @Cathythoughts it is that 😂 I think a lot of it went over my head. Probably one that if you studied you would get more out of. 11mo
BarbaraBB I felt the same ☹️ 11mo
batsy Gorgeous backdrop! 😍 11mo
TheAliceEvers Amazing photo! 😍 11mo
59 likes10 comments
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youneverarrived
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Drinking while reading this is either gonna be the worst or best idea 😂 I‘m liking it but at the same time I feel like I have no clue what‘s going on (two people that just met were married and had a baby in about 3 pages.)

Cathythoughts Enjoy 📚🍻🍺🍺 11mo
MStew Best day eva! 11mo
Leftcoastzen I remember Nightwood as a bit ethereal anyway.😀 11mo
71 likes3 comments
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youneverarrived
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Jeanette Winterson‘s introduction to this book is on point 👌

“Nightwood, peculiar, eccentric, particular, shaded against the insistence of too much daylight, is a book for introverts, in that we are all introverts in our after-hours secrets and deepest loves”.

JennyM So true 11mo
BarbaraBB The introduction is the only good part of that book - imo 😀 11mo
batsy That's lovely and so true ❤️ 11mo
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Cathythoughts I love this 💫💫💫 11mo
youneverarrived @BarbaraBB 😂😂 why didn‘t you like the book? 11mo
youneverarrived @JennyM @batsy @Cathythoughts it really resonated with me 🧡 11mo
51 likes6 comments
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Nanceikins
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Starting this beauty today!
#nightwood #DjunaBarnes #femaleauthors

3 likes1 stack add
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TheKidUpstairs
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A few #queerreads for today's #riotgrams
❤💛💚💙💜

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vivastory
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"Our bones only ache while the flesh is on them. Stretch it thin as the temple flesh of an ailing woman and still it serves to ache the bone and to move the bone about; and in like manner the night is a skin pulled over the head of day that the day may be in a torment. We will find no comfort until the night melts away; until the fury of the night rots out its fire."
#fiercefeb day 23
#NightinTheCity
@batsy
@Cinfhen

saresmoore Whoa. 1y
readordierachel That's amazing. 1y
vivastory @ReadOrDieRachel I'm due for a reread. 1y
See All 11 Comments
batsy Stunning! 💫 I've got this on my shelf and I should get to it. 1y
Leftcoastzen It‘s so great , excellent choice! 1y
Branwen I adore this book so much! 😍 It's pure genius! 1y
BarbaraBB What do you think of the book? It went way over my head...😊 1y
vivastory @BarbaraBB I read it many years ago & have forgotten much. I recall I really liked it & am hoping to reread it soon. 1y
Cinfhen I‘m in awe🙌🏻you‘re slaying this challenge 🏆 1y
vivastory @Cinfhen 🤗 You're too kind. I've had a real blast! 1y
JazzFeathers I definitely need this book 😆 1y
71 likes3 stack adds11 comments
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jveezer
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Ha ha, like every rock n' roll music video ever!

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jveezer
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The yogi teamonger dislikes this passage even as he drinks his latte ?: "In 1685 the Turks brought coffee into Vienna, and from that day Vienna, like a woman, had one impatience, something she liked. You know of course, that Pitt the Younger was refused alliance because he was foolish enough to proffer tea; Austria and tea could never go together. All cities have a particular and special beverage suited to them."

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jveezer
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So excited to start this next one. This beautiful edition waited patiently on the shelf of Alias Books East in Atwater Village until I could afford her. Look at that gorgeous cover art! ❤️📖🤓

Leftcoastzen Love that book ! I have a beat up paperback though,that‘s a swoon worthy edition in your post. (edited) 2y
4 likes1 comment
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Abailliekaras
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Thanks to all who‘ve posted their #cult5. It‘s got me thinking! I wanted to do all women authors (but ❤️ Hitchhikers, Infinite Jest & Slaughterhouse 5).
‘Cult‘ so tricky to define. For me, it‘s a book that not everyone has read or liked, so that if you meet someone and they say ‘oh yeah, I loved that too‘ you feel a special affinity. Classic: will stand the test of time. Here are mine (is Station 11 too mainstream? Let‘s discuss!)

Cinfhen I love your definition...and I LOVED 2y
Cinfhen Curious about this one 2y
BarbaraBB You loved Nightwood? I envy you, I had a hard time finishing it. Definitely cult! 2y
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batsy Yeah that's a great definition of cult. Nightwood and Revenge on my TBR! I loved Ogawa's Hotel Iris and I think that's definitely a cult fave. And I'm so tickled to learn that the Moomins are cult 😄 They are very special indeed. 2y
Abailliekaras @Cinfhen revenge is dark but memorable, I think definitely worth reading. @BarbaraBB I found it dense, did not love, but thought it was very strong & poetic & she influenced David lynch & David Foster Wallace, who I love. 2y
Abailliekaras @batsy I must read hotel iris! I wonder if the Moomins are too popular to be cult? But to me they‘re still a bit underground as not many people I know have read her books. So tricky! 2y
batsy I saw it earlier in @vivastory's post that they're listed as cult! It's pretty cool. I think maybe it definitely started out that way, and as in the way of many cult books, became better-known http://litsy.com/p/TEQ0WVJhOGV5 2y
BarbaraBB That explains a lot. I didn‘t dare read DFW yet 😉 (edited) 2y
Abailliekaras @batsy oh yay! 👯 @BarbaraBB I loved infinite jest but only read it thanks to the Litsy buddy read . 😊 I‘d been putting it off for years! 2y
BarbaraBB I missed that one, hadn‘t discovered Litsy in time. I can imagine it is a great way to read a book like that. 2y
Abailliekaras @BarbaraBB yes because despite how readable it is (I think) & funny, there are still parts where you are going WTF, WTF and you just need someone who‘s reading the same thing! 2y
44 likes11 comments
review
BarbaraBB
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Panpan

A rather hysterical novel of love and obsession in Europe in the twenties. The evocative language, the long, long sentences made that I didn't enjoy this book at all, while the main theme did interest me. #1001books

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Simona
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Strong, dense, poetical prose/style and demanding story about love (and with the strangest end ever).

#junetunz #Ikissedagirl

Cinfhen Man,this paragraph can not be read before I've had my coffee ☕️ 🤔😳I'm lost!!! 😂 2y
Marchpane Second time today I've seen the word "intaglio" on Litsy! @Ashley_Nicoletto what are the odds? ? 2y
Ashley_Nicoletto @Marchpane 😂😂 what are the odds? I've never even seen this word before today. Orrrrrr maybe I just didn't care that much about what I meant until today. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂 2y
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Simona @Cinfhen Drink the coffee and then came back 😉😘 2y
Simona @Ashley_Nicoletto 😂 Intaglio - the word of the week 🤓 @Marchpane 2y
Abailliekaras I still cannot believe I read this as a 'break' from infinite jest. 🤔😬😂 2y
Simona @Abailliekaras Perfect choice for 'break' book. 👍😂 2y
63 likes1 stack add7 comments
review
shanaqui
Bailedbailed

Modernism + me = waste of time for everyone.

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Moray_Reads
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karenna
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I've done and been everything that I didn't want to be or do--Lord, put the light out--so I stand here, beaten up and mauled and weeping, knowing I am not what I thought I was, a good man doing wrong, but the wrong man doing nothing much, and I wouldn't be telling you if I weren't talking to myself.

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elizabeth7

Sometimes one meets a woman who is beast turning human. Such a person's every movement will reduce to an image of a forgotten experience; [...]
Such a woman is the infected carrier of the past; before her the structure of our head and jaws ache -- we feel that we could eat her, she who is eaten death returning, for only then do we put our face close to the blood on the lips of our forefathers.

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Abailliekaras
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Pickpick

Sublime but elusive, the story of the doomed love between two women, told in vivid prose. Paris is seedy, the characters flawed & Gothic. Barnes' writing gleams: her poetic wordplay & wit reminded me of Shakespeare; the confessional tone pre-dates Camus' 'The Fall', & the Woolf comparisons are apt too. Strong, dense, it refuses to be matter-of-fact, but feels searingly honest. I'm wiped out now!

Lindy Great review. This book made a big impact on me too. 😀 2y
Abailliekaras Thanks @Lindy . Just thinking about the ending with @Simona & realised it will be worth re-reading (when I have the energy! 😉) 2y
27 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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Abailliekaras
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"You, who should have had a thousand children and Robin, who should have been all of them; and Jenny the bird, snatching the oats out of love's droppings..."

So many exquisite moments in this book (but it has also wrecked me)!

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Abailliekaras
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"There was some derangement in her equilibrium that kept her immune from her own descent."

I fear things are not going to go well for Nora.

Simona I liked the story, I liked very dense prose ... but I'm still confused about the end. I've read various discussions and reviews and I still can't understand it 😊Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! 2y
Abailliekaras @Simona I'm still reeling - possibly the wrong book for my 'break' from Infinite Jest 😉 . I thought the end could be taken literally, but I'm sure it could be a metaphor for another state (dream? Death?). I'll have to think about it. I certainly got the impression they were tragic / doomed so whichever way u see it, things will end badly for them... 2y
Simona Definitely it isn't for 'break'! I saw explanation of the last scene - that her life is worth less than the life of a dog. 2y
Abailliekaras @Simona oh that's sad! I thought maybe it was going back to the Dr saying that Robin was as primitive (& amoral) as an animal; just skimming through it again there are references to 'an angel on all fours' & death 'one dog will find them both'... I may have to re-read (heaven forbid!).... 2y
12 likes4 comments
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Abailliekaras
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"The Catholic [church] is the girl that you love so much that she can lie to you, and the Protestant is the girl that loves you so much that you can lie to her ..."

shawnmooney Lol. This is one of those books that sat unread on my shelf for more than a decade. I now no longer own it. Should I bother tracking it down again and finally reading it? 2y
Abailliekaras @shawnmooney I know the feeling! I think so but stay tuned. Yes, if you like Virginia Woolf, is my first reaction... 2y
20 likes2 comments
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Abailliekaras
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I've had Nightwood on my TBR since reading a biography of Peggy Guggenheim which details her friendship with Djuna Barnes. Now finally starting it!
#feistyfeb #artdeco

37 likes1 stack add
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Simona
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On a quiet Sunday- an extraordinary book and very good soup ... spoiling myself, before crazy Monday.

Ottergirl Soup looks really good! Are those chickpeas? 👍🏻 2y
Simona @Ottergirl Yes, chickpeas and leek. 2y
See All 12 Comments
tpixie Yum!! We need the recipe!! 2y
katedensen LOVE Nightwood. More people need to read it! 2y
Simona @tpixie Nothing special. Braise finely chopped onions and leeks, add cooked chickpeas and vegetable broth, seasoning (pepper, salt, turmeric, ground cumin), leave to boil, then cook over low heat for a few minutes. That's it. 2y
tpixie Yummy! Thx! 2y
DebinHawaii Looks delicious!! 🍲❤️ 2y
Simona @DebinHawaii Thank you. Simple and delicious for cold days. 2y
DeborahSmall Love chickpeas 💞 2y
shawnmooney This book sat unread on my shelf in Canada for years and years. Now I have no idea whether it's in a box somewhere or whether I got rid of it. I can't believe I have yet to read this one! 2y
Simona @shawnmooney I finished it yesterday and I'm still at the stage of processing... but I'm sure, that this is the book with the most peculiar end I have ever read. 2y
99 likes2 stack adds12 comments
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Simona
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My contribution for #diversathon #ownvoices Suzana Tratnik is a Slovenian writer of short stories, novels, essays... she is also the initiator and activist in the field of LBGT movement in Slovenia. This book is a scientific work, which raises and explores the question - what is the lesbian literature and what defines it as such.

Fresh fruit isn't my favorite snack, but the last few days I crave for it.
#readjanuary #bookandyourfavesnack

Simona Translation of the title 'A Lesbian Story - Literary Construction of Sexuality' 2y
DeborahSmall Really want to read Nightwood 💖 2y
Simona @DeborahSmall I have done some googling, because I didn't know nothing about her and she is very interesting woman with interesting life. 2y
DeborahSmall I googled her too, what a life! 2y
82 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
SaraBeagle
Mehso-so

I didn't enjoy this at all until I got to the end. She definitely makes you think and maybe I'm off the mark, but she had a lot to say about sacrificing ourselves in the name of love. Of giving up so much that we loose our power and sense of self. The book was strange but the theme was intriguing.

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SaraBeagle
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review
SaintUrsula
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Mehso-so

In his introduction, TS Eliot said that "only sensibilities trained on poetry" could wholly appreciate this book. Well, I don't like poetry.

I can appreciate the book's existence, and I think it would be interesting to have it as a text in a course, but I found it overwrought.

?️?️?️ 3 natural disasters out of 5.

SaintUrsula That said, everyone can recognize Robin, the woman who is so self-involved that she blithely goes from situation to situation without noticing the destruction in her wake. (And obviously it can be a man, too, it was just a woman in this book.) 3y
4 likes1 comment
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SaintUrsula
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"...how in the end you'll all be locked together, like the poor beasts that get their antlers mixed and are found dead that way, their heads fattened with a knowledge of each other they never wanted, having had to contemplate each other, head-on and eye-to-eye, until death...."

ReadingOver50 Great quote 😀 3y
SaintUrsula @ReadingOver50 It's a good one, isn't it? You definitely know exactly what she means. 3y
7 likes2 comments
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SaintUrsula
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"Early in 1880, in spite of a well-founded suspicion as to the advisability of perpetuating that race which has the sanction of the Lord and the disapproval of the people..."

And so it begins.

Branwen I freaking LOVE this book! I'm really looking forward to hearing what you think of it! :-) 3y
charl08 Wow. That's a long sentence... 3y
SaintUrsula @Branwen Enjoying it, not too far in yet. 3y
SaintUrsula @charl08 indeed, no way that was fitting in the character limit! 3y
8 likes1 stack add4 comments
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SaintUrsula
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Here's what I've currently got out of the library, not including The Adventures of Augie March, which I'm almost done with.

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enferauparadis
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katedensen
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Happy Birthday, Djuna Barnes (b. June 12, 1892).

3 likes1 stack add