Hayford Hall: Hangovers, Erotics, and Modernist Aesthetics

Overview

In this innovative approach to modernist British and American women’s literature, essayists focus on Hayford Hall, a remote country estate in Devonshire, England, rented by Peggy Guggenheim and inhabited by a coterie of literary friends in the summers of 1932 and 1933. As a critical treatment of the living and writing that unfolded at the estate, Hayford Hall: Hangovers, Erotics, and Modernist Aesthetics asserts that female modernists who gathered there integrated public art with their private lives, thus making ...

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Overview

In this innovative approach to modernist British and American women’s literature, essayists focus on Hayford Hall, a remote country estate in Devonshire, England, rented by Peggy Guggenheim and inhabited by a coterie of literary friends in the summers of 1932 and 1933. As a critical treatment of the living and writing that unfolded at the estate, Hayford Hall: Hangovers, Erotics, and Modernist Aesthetics asserts that female modernists who gathered there integrated public art with their private lives, thus making their personal writing works of experimental aesthetics.

Central to the literary discussions, the drinking, and the erotic play that filled the evenings at Hayford Hall were John Holms, Guggenheim’s British lover; Djuna Barnes, who wrote her masterpiece Nightwood at the estate; Antonia White, British author best known for her convent novel Frost in May; and Emily Coleman, whose novel The Shutter of Snow was based on her own experiences of madness and institutionalization.

Drawing on archival materials to bring crucial sources to a wider audience, the essays, contributed by scholars from Britain, Germany, Canada, and the United States, each add a different perspective on the writers and suggest that a specifically female kind of lived modernism started to emerge at Hayford Hall. They argue that the writers challenged the sexual, textual, and spiritual mores of the day, both in life and on the page.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809326464
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra M. Chait is an independent scholar whose essays have been published in Self/Same/Other: Revisioning the Subject in Literature and Theology and in Research in African Literatures.

Elizabeth M. Podnieks is an assistant professor at Ryerson University and the author of Daily Modernism: The Literary Diaries of Virginia Woolf, Antonia White, Elizabeth Smart, and Anaïs Nin.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : "what a heavenly place this is" 1
A brief note on the history of Hayford Hall 23
1 "Daisy Miller with rather more balls" : biographical notes on Peggy Guggenheim 27
2 Framed liminalities : Antonia White's Beyond the glass and Emily Coleman's The shutter of snow 46
3 Antonia White and the subversion of literary impotence at Hayford Hall 70
4 "They sat and roared" : Hayford Hall's performance in the diary of Emily Coleman 89
5 The innocent children of Nightwood and Hayford Hall 116
6 "Melancholia, melancholia" : changing black bile into black ink in Djuna Barnes's Nightwood 133
7 Site also of angst and spiritual search 150
Conclusion : beyond Buckfastleigh 170
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