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Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

Nightwood (1936)

by Djuna Barnes

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,888323,638 (3.49)82
  1. 00
    The Lime Twig by John Hawkes (nymith)
    nymith: Barnes was a great influence on Hawkes and both novels share a dreamlike and grotesque writing style.
  2. 00
    A Woman Appeared to Me by Renée Vivien (mambo_taxi)
    mambo_taxi: Nightwood is definitely the better of the two books, but if early 20th century expatriate lesbians living in Paris are your kind of thing, then A Woman Appeared to Me will be of interest.
  3. 00
    Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (lilysea)

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» See also 82 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
[CEDUTO] Non riesco ad entrare nel meccanismo della Barnes, nelle sue immagini (alcune davvero lisergiche e bellissime, altre solo mentali e oscure), nella sua prosa. Ho provato, abbandonato; riprovato, abbandonato. Non tutti i libri sono scritti per tutti. Nel redigere questo non hanno tenuto conto di me. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Historically significant. Stayed with it because of the occasional sentences that sparkled like gems - usually spoken by the "doctor." Complicated characters in that no one was particularly "likeable." Which I like. ( )
  beckydj | Oct 11, 2014 |
Dull. Impenetrable. Far more a book about the doctor than Robin Vote. ( )
  lagardner | Jul 13, 2014 |
... and a half.

Is not the gown the natural raiment of extremity? What nation, what religion, what ghost, what dream has not worn it—infants, angels, priests, the dead; why—should not the doctor, in the grave dilemma of his alchemy, wear his dress?' She thought: 'He dresses to lie beside himself, who is so constructed that love, for him, can be only something special; in a room that giving back evidence of his occupancy, is as mauled as the last agony. ( )
  lawrenh | May 14, 2014 |
Second time attempting this beautifully written, beautifully dull novel. The book starts out with an intoxicating sense of loss and estrangement and goes through a series of emotional relationships early on that really left a big impression on me. Barnes handles loss and inner psychology with finesse.

Unfortunately the second half of the novel reads like a series of boring, pedantic conversations between people I'd rather not know. Though the book is often called one of the most difficult from the modernist period, I'd say it's more dull than complex in the final sections.

Too bad that the book loses so much steam and becomes so repetitive, especially considering the power of the opening passages and the book's rather short length.

Maybe the end is good, but once I skipped twenty pages of boring philosophical bs dialogue between the Doctor and whomever, I figured, What the hell is the point?

5/5 for the first 80 pages, then 1/5 from there on.

( )
  blanderson | Mar 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Nightwood is itself. It is its own created world, exotic and strange, and reading it is like drinking wine with a pearl dissolving in the glass. You have taken in more than you know, and it will go on doing its work. From now on, a part of you is pearl-lined.

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barnes, Djunaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eliot, T.S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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, Hedvig Volkbein—a Viennese woman of great strength and military beauty, lying upon a canopied bed of a rich spectacular crimson, the valance stamped with the bifurcated wings of the House of Hapsburg, the feather coverlet an envelope of satin on which, in massive and tarnished gold threads, stood the Volkbein arms—gave birth, at the age of forty-five, to an only child, a son, seven days after her physician predicted that she would be taken.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0811216713, Paperback)

Nightwood is not only a classic of lesbian literature, but was also acknowledged by no less than T. S. Eliot as one of the great novels of the 20th century. Eliot admired Djuna Barnes' rich, evocative language. Lesbian readers will admire the exquisite craftsmanship and Barnes' penetrating insights into obsessive passion. Barnes told a friend that Nightwood was written with her own blood "while it was still running." That flowing wound was the breakup of an eight-year relationship with the lesbian love of her life.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:40 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Originally published in 1936, this novel by Djuna Barnes describes the life of Americans and Europeans in Paris in the decadent 'Roaring Twenties'.

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Average: (3.49)
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