Overview

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,...
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Nightwood (New Edition)

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Overview

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811221436
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/1/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 152,405
  • File size: 437 KB

Meet the Author

Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY, and worked as a journalist in New York before leaving the country to spend many years in Paris and London. She returned to New York in 1941, and lived in Greenwich Village until her death.
Jeanette Winterson is the author of nine novels, including Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (which won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel), Lighthousekeeping, Sexing the Cherry, and Weight.
T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) was one of the fathers of modernism and a defining voice in English-language poetry. He is the author of some of the best known poems in the English language, including "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," The Waste Land, "Ash Wednesday," and Four Quartets. The leading poet of the modernist avant-garde, Eliot radically reimagined the possibilities for literature in the twentieth century and beyond, and was also renowned as a playwright and as a literary and social critic. Eliot's books of criticism include The Sacred Wood, while his theatrical works include Murder in the Cathedral. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Avoid unless you want to

    I had to read this for one of my college courses, and while it is an interesting story, and I personally like modernist novels, it gave me a headache. The story centers around the eccentric, and often maddening, Robin who is looking for something that even she is not even sure what it exactly is. Showing her different relationships with men and women, it is an interesting exploration of the human want and need for companionship, and what our true desires are. I personally despise this book with a passion, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is a bad book. If you are a fan of modernist novels and GLBT themes, this would be an interesting book to check out.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 18, 2014

    It's a shame this book is part both feminist and 100 must read G

    It's a shame this book is part both feminist and 100 must read GLBT books. I found it overhype, difficult to grapes and boring.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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