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The Book of Repulsive Women & Other Poems
Edited by Rebecca Loncraine
Categories: 20th Century, American, British, LGBTQ+, Women
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (220 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2003)
Though her lips are vague and fancy
In her youth -
They bloom vivid and repulsive
As the truth.
from "Seen from the 'L'"
Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) once described herself as the most famous unknown writer, and although her novel, Nightwood is celebrated, her poetry has been a well-kept secret until now. This selection, the only one currently available, contains work written between 1914 and the 1970s. Many of the poems in The Book of Repulsive Women first appeared in pamphlets and literary journals in New York and Paris. Published together for the first time, they throw new light on Barnes' development as a writer. The book reveals her as a poet of unique power, at once compelling and disorientating. Marianne Moore observed, "reading Djuna Barnes is like reading a foreign language, which you understand".
The Book of Repulsive Women includes previously unpublished poems, and five illustrations by Barnes herself. Rebecca Loncraine provides an essential introduction to Barnes' poetry.
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