Barnes, Djuna, 1892-1982

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Noted journalist and avant-garde author Djuna Barnes was born in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, on June 12, 1892, the second child and only daughter of Wald and Elizabeth Chappell Barnes. Barnes studied art at the Pratt Institute (1912-1913) and at the Art Student's League of New York (1915-1916).

In 1913, she began working as a freelance journalist and illustrator for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and was soon writing and illustrating features and interviews for the New York Morning Telegraph, the New York Press, and the New York Sun, among other publications. During this period, she became involved in the bohemian artistic milieu of Greenwich Village. She wrote poetry ( The Book of Repulsive Women, published in 1915) and several short plays ("Three From the Earth," "Kurzy of the Sea," and "An Irish Triangle"), which were produced by the Provincetown Players in 1919 and 1920.

In 1921, Barnes travelled to Europe, then spent almost all of the next twenty years in England and France. She wrote features and interviews for Vanity Fair, McCall's, Charm, and Smart Set, a regular column for Theatre Guild Magazine, and poems and stories for literary magazines such as Dial, transition, and Transatlantic Review . Her book-length writings in this period consist of a collection of her short stories, plays, and poems, A Book (1923), which was revised and republished in 1929 as A Night Among the Horses, the satirical Ladies Almanack (1928), and two novels, Ryder (1928) and Nightwood (1936). Regarded by most critics as her masterpiece, Nightwood was influenced by Barnes's affair with Thelma Wood. The novel was written under the patronage of Peggy Guggenheim and championed by T. S. Eliot, Barnes's editor at Faber and Faber.

In October 1939, Barnes returned to the United States, and, in September 1940, she moved into an apartment at 5 Patchin Place in Greenwich Village, where she resided for the remainder of her life. She wrote the verse play The Antiphon (1958), which was produced in Sweden in 1961 in a version co-translated by United Nations' secretary Dag Hammarskjöld. Another collection of her short stories, Spillway, was published in 1962, the year in which Selected Works ( Spillway, The Antiphon, and Nightwood ), appeared. During the 1960s and 1970s, Barnes also wrote much poetry, though little was published. Her final work was the verse menagerie Creatures In an Alphabet (1982). Barnes died in New York City on June 18, 1982, at the age of ninety.

From the guide to the Djuna Barnes papers, 1820-1982, 1910-1975, (University of Maryland Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Barnes, Djuna. Letters to Sidney Carlyle [manuscript] 1949-60. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Barnes, Djuna. Papers. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Galantière, Lewis, 1895-1977. Lewis Galantière papers, 1920-1977. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Peter Neagoe Papers, 1928-1967 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
creatorOf Freytag-Loringhoven, Elsa von, 1874-1927. Papers. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991. Berenice Abbott papers, 1927-1992 (bulk 1960-1992). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Cohen, Irwin, 1947-. Irwin Cohen Collection. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Janet Flanner and Solita Solano Papers, 1870-1976, (bulk 1955-1975) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. Additional papers, 1917-1962 and undated. Houghton Library
referencedIn Alicat Book Shop Press Records TXRC96-A29., 1945-1966 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Barnes, Djuna : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1850-2020 (inclusive), 1936-2008 (bulk) Houghton Library
creatorOf Barnes, Djuna. Djuna Barnes contributions to Bruno's Weekly, 1916. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Sun & Moon Press Archive, 1976-2002 University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
referencedIn Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven papers, 1917-1933, null University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Kenneth Burke collection of papers, 1922-1983, 1922-1973 The New York Public Library. Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature.
referencedIn Saxon Barnes papers, 1889-1990, 1889-1990 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Barnes, Djuna. Barnes family papers. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962. Papers, 1897-1930 Houghton Library
creatorOf Barnes, Djuna. Djuna Barnes play script, undated. Library of Congress
referencedIn Nimbus Magazine Records TXRC94-A20., 1945-1962 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Pach Brothers. Photograph of Djuna Barnes, ca. 1920s? University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Alicat Book Shop Press. Records, 1945-1966. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Stern, James, 1904-1993. Papers. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, 1932-2005 Houghton Library
referencedIn Kathryn Hulme papers, 1846-1981, 1945-1981 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. Papers, 1870-1969 Houghton Library
creatorOf Abse, Dannie. Nimbus magazine archive, 1945-1962. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Berenice Abbott papers, 1927-1992, 1960-1992 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.) records, 1936-1989 (inclusive), 1950-1960 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962. Additional papers, 1870-1969. Houghton Library
referencedIn Records of, Sojourner, (inclusive), (bulk), 1920-2004, 1975-2002 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Ford, Charles Henri, 1913-. Charles Henri Ford Papers, 1928-1981. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Barnes, Djuna. Barnes family papers. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Herring, Phillip F. Phillip Herring papers, 1972-1997 (bulk 1989-1995). University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Hulme, Kathryn, 1900-1981. Kathryn Hulme papers, 1846-1981 (bulk 1945-1981). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn V. R. Lang papers, 1929-1974 (inclusive) 1943-1959 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Charles Henri Ford Papers TXRC97-A13., 1928-1981 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Harry Weinberger papers, 1915-1944 Yale University Library
creatorOf Rothman, Julius Lawrence. Letter, 1968 June 27, Lynbrook, N.Y., to Djuna Barnes, New York. University of Michigan
referencedIn Stern, James, 1904-1993. Papers. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Charles Reznikoff Papers, 1912-1976 Mandeville Special Collections Library
referencedIn McAlmon, Robert, 1896-1956. Robert McAlmon papers, 1916-1980 (bulk 1930-1952). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Manuscripts and proofs of New Directions books, 1937-1997. Houghton Library
creatorOf Lang, V. R., 1924-1956. V. R. Lang papers, 1929-1974 (inclusive) 1943-1959 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Barnes, Djuna. Chester Page Collection. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Field, Andrew, 1938-. Andrew Field papers, 1916-1989 (majority 1976-1982) University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Burke, Kenneth, 1897-1993. Kenneth Burke collection of papers, 1922-1983 bulk (1922-1973). New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972. General correspondence, 1901-1972. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Cohen, Irwin, 1947-. Irwin Cohen Collection. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Saxon Barnes papers, 1889-1990, 1889-1990 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Houghton Library printed book provenance file, A-D Houghton Library
referencedIn Papers of Robert Graves: Correspondence (arranged by correspondent), c1909 to 2004 St John's College, Oxford
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf BARNES, DJUNA. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Barnes, Djuna. Chester Page Collection. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Cornwall Public Library. Cornwall on Hudson Branch. Cornwall authors collection, 1848-1987, 1955-1987 (bulk) Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Barney, Natalie Clifford. Natalie Clifford Barney - Romaine Brooks correspondence 1920-1969. The University of Tulsa, McFarlin Library
referencedIn Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.). Records of the Poets' Theatre, 1950-1968 (inclusive), 1951-1958 (bulk). Houghton Library
referencedIn Flanner, Janet, 1892-1978. Janet Flanner and Solita Solano papers, 1870-1976 (bulk 1955-1975). Library of Congress
creatorOf Barnes, Djuna. Papers. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Robert McAlmon papers, 1916-1980, 1930-1952 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbott, Berenice, 1898-1991 person
associatedWith Alicat Book Shop Press corporateBody
associatedWith Barnes Family family
associatedWith Barnes, Saxon, 1902-1991 person
associatedWith Barney, Natalie Clifford person
associatedWith Beckett, Samuel, 1906-1989. person
associatedWith Boehm, Adolf, 1873-1941 person
associatedWith Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992. person
correspondedWith Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962 person
associatedWith Burke, Kenneth, 1897-1993 person
associatedWith Carlyle, Sidney, person
associatedWith Cohen, Irwin, 1947- person
associatedWith Coleman, Emily Holmes, 1899-1974 person
associatedWith Cornwall Public Library. Cornwall on Hudson Branch. corporateBody
correspondedWith Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962 person
associatedWith Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965 person
associatedWith Ferlinghetti, Lawrence person
associatedWith Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. person
associatedWith Field, Andrew, 1938- person
associatedWith Flanner, Janet, 1892-1978 person
associatedWith Ford, Charles Henri, 1913- person
associatedWith Freytag-Loringhoven, Elsa von, 1874-1927 person
associatedWith Galantière, Lewis, 1895-1977. person
associatedWith Glossop, Silas person
associatedWith Glossop, Silas. person
associatedWith Graves, Robert Windham, 1858-1934 person
associatedWith Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898- person
associatedWith Guggenheim, Peggy, 1898-1979. person
associatedWith Hammarskjöld, Dag, 1905-1961 person
associatedWith Herring, Phillip F. person
associatedWith Hoare, Samuel Peter person
associatedWith Hoare, Samuel Peter. person
associatedWith Houghton Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Hulme, Kathryn, 1900-1981 person
associatedWith Joyce, James, 1882-1941 person
correspondedWith Lang, V. R., 1924-1956 person
associatedWith Macdougall, Allan Ross, 1893- person
associatedWith McAlmon, Robert, 1895-1956 person
associatedWith McAlmon, Robert, 1896-1956 person
associatedWith Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972 person
associatedWith Neagoe, Peter. person
correspondedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
correspondedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Nimbus: A Magazine of Literature, the Arts, and New Ideas corporateBody
associatedWith O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953 person
associatedWith Pach Brothers. corporateBody
associatedWith Page, Chester, 1929- person
associatedWith Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.). corporateBody
correspondedWith Reznikoff, Charles, 1894-1976 person
associatedWith Rothman, Julius Lawrence. person
associatedWith Sojourner (Cambridge, Mass.) corporateBody
associatedWith Solano, Solita, 1888-1975 person
correspondedWith Stern, James, 1904-1993 person
correspondedWith Sun & Moon Press corporateBody
associatedWith Tate, Allen, 1899- person
associatedWith Tate, Allen, 1899-1979. person
associatedWith Vail, Laurence, 1891- person
associatedWith Vail, Laurence, 1891-1968. person
associatedWith Van Doren, Carl, 1885-1950 person
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
associatedWith Weinberger, Harry, 1888- person
associatedWith Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963 person
associatedWith Wood, Thelma person
associatedWith Wood, Thelma. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
England ENG GB
Greenwich Village NY US
Republic of France 00 FR
New York City NY US
New York NY US
Subject
American literature--History--Sources
Authors, American--History--Sources
Occupation
Artists
Journalists
Authors
Activity

Person

Birth 1892-06-12

Death 1982-06-18

Female

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w61m024z

SNAC ID: 85412065