REVIEW ´ Nightwood


REVIEW ´ Nightwood ☆ ❀ [EPUB] ✸ Nightwood By Djuna Barnes ❤ – Nightwood Djuna Barnes' strange and sinuous tour de force belongs to that small class of books that somehow reflect a time or an epoch TLS That time is the period between the two World Wars and Barnes Nightwood Djuna Barnes' strange and sinuous tour de forNightwood Djuna Barnes' strange and sinuous tour de force belongs to that small class of books that somehow reflect a time or an epoch TLS 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 Wand. Nightwood is the sound of hearts breaking written on the page spread out for all to see five lives five people eviscerated and eviscerating each other These people fucking kill me they are so sad and so full of nonsense and so determined to live in their own personal little boxes striving for epiphanies that they barely even understand trying to be a certain idea of What a Person Is Is that what I'm like Maybe that's what everyone is like Barnes lays out these characters' lives like beads on a string one after the other Baron Felix that whole fake heritage made by his father that he now lives out as if it were real I can't help but identify a little bit with the Baron his bullshit his need to please to be calm and careful as a way to prop himself up His stiffness Not really sure how Barnes feels about him she spends a lot of time with him such an elaborate backstory so that's something although I hate all the derogatory Jew crap 'Jews are like this Jews always think this way' bogus and the only thing that is boring in Nightwood She creates this hollow man and then she fills him up with life and sadness and a rigid sort of sweetness towards his son I see myself in him and other people I know my dad especially Barnes seems interested in the Robin Nora Jenny triangle Makes sense; I'm interested in them too Robin Vote That name Is it supposed to mean something She is like something out of a Duras novel a hollow vessel an intellectual kind of id a sick need to define herself by rejecting those who want her rejecting those who want to define her I see a lot of myself in Robin that fucked up need to keep people at a distance no real connection means no proprietary relationship let's just be friends friends are easy I love my friends Except Robin has no real love in her just a blind mindless need for what Something When we first meet her she is passed out insensible; Barnes describes her as La Somnambule a sleepwalker in life except sleepwalkers don't destroy She is like an exterminating angel a sleepy one In the end confronting a dog she is transformed into a kind of dog herself I think that's unfair to dogs My sympathies are mainly with Nora Flood a tough dyke of the old school a listener a person people gravitate towards to tell their stories to be listened to and so given a kind of identity by that listening being made human by being seen as human by another human I see a lot of myself in Nora There is a remoteness to her different than the alien uality of Robin's hollow vessel like a stillness a need to stay still and understand and truly see the world around her And then when she's hurt when she is filled with longing and damage and pain it is so debilitating and yet filled with such sad fury a painful howling fury I've felt that it just takes over and you don't want to feel anything but pain your mind is just blank with it all bright and dark hues of hot angry red Poor Nora Why does her life become defined by her pursuit of Robin That's not even a life But it is a better life than Jenny Petheridge's life the third part of this strange sorrowful triangle Triangle Why do I keep saying that If you include Baron Felix it is of a suare But he barely counts in their lives his poor sad son becomes his life a son who is all need and reaching towards some kind of meaning something to define him I felt such empathy for that son like I was that son I am that son But back to Jenny Djuna Barnes must have based Jenny on someone she hates There is so much detail about her craziness And a lot of it is so funny a terrible kind of funny laughing at someone who is a rich basket case at a person who is basically a straw man woman for the author's hate She is all gruesome softness and blind stabby moments crying hysterics and desperate neediness such intensity and so little affect defining herself by creating these fake worlds to live in this dramatic love affair with an empty vessel not caring who she hurts shoving scratching her emotions right into onto a person's face literally And those who love her die her history of dead husbands leaving her better off and with of nothing I can't help but identify with Jenny with her weakness her desperate yearning I remember when my heart was broken except I was the one who did the breaking broke two hearts another person's heart isn't enough let's break mine too like Jenny with her insensible angry intrusive neediness her boring self abnegating self flagellating I hate all that How can a person like Jenny compete with a person like Nora how can Robin choose possession over true understanding Well that happens all the time I suppose And Robin doesn't really even choose her she chooses herself again and again I get Robin I see her in the mirror; she's coming and going from and to nowhereAnd then the renegade doctor the berserk socialite Dr Matthew O'Connor railing against form and tradition gentle and strong and angry and petty a drunkard a man who loves life a transvestite living in his little sualid apartment a man full of warmth and kindness and vitriol a man who secretly defines himself by helping others spitting out monologues about life and death and appearance and sanctity and desire He delivered Nora Flood into the world and is her sounding board his long rants are not just violent flows of sound and fury and pathos they are not merely self absorbed they are trying to speak to her by speaking of himself he is trying to break through to her by breaking himself down in front of her shaking her back to life away from insensibility and morbid obsession until the rant turns on the ranter and he in turn is broken down seeing himself and the world around him for what he and it truly is is becoming is falling back into His delirious rants are like the novel itself discretely separated into chapters separated by character and incident and yet the parts are flowing into each other the language flows into reality and out of it the narrative folds up into itself until it becomes unrecognizable as a narrative like a flower all mashed up so that the pulp is barely recognizable as the original flower just little parts here and there you pull a piece out and it is still a flower but what connection does it have to the original thing It turns in on itself it becomes something different and it stays essentially the same I see a lot of myself in Matthew O'Connor him most of all most of all I Am Matthew O'Connor I live and breathe him I read about these breaking hearts and they are all my heart too all of it none of it it all comes together it's all the same each separate one of them rightIs this a mobius strip of sorts UPDATElooking back on this a few weeks later i see that in my desperate attempt to write this review as a kind of stylistic homage to my favorite reviewer MARIEL i neglected key things that i usually like to put in my reviews okay here goesthe writing itself beautiful hypnotic excessive idiosyncratic modernist duh drily amusing rich with off kilter nuance flows like a bad dreamthe characterization despite the experimental nature of the novel and a regular use of caricature these are some amazingly three dimensional characters i got to understand them on a really human level and not just as uirky conceits on a pagethe narrative broken unstable constantly challenging and often very annoying as well annoying like sand in an oyster's shell Nightwood a pearl

Djuna Barnes ↠ 1 REVIEW

Ering 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 r. The novel that almost ended my book club We'd previously read work by Robert Coover Anne Carson and Ben Marcus Cormac McCarthy's Suttree and The Story of O But it was Nightwood that most of the usually intrepid group didn't bother to finish a few unwilling to even venture past the first chapter Bitter complaints of overly baroue language old fashioned concerns with ancestry and a story where nothing happened Folks were pissed To be honest I'm still mystified While it took me far longer to read this 180 page novel than I'd anticipated the prose demanded an attentive slowness as key moments often passed within a short phrase I felt rewarded every time I stopped to parse out a particularly knotty section or unpack an ambiguous aphorism There's a level of psychological insight into the characters here that's astounding coupled with Barnes setting an almost unknowable anti heroine at the dead center of the story serving as a sort of swirling black hole While at first the book seems to play like a series of portraits the cohesive structure slowly reveals itself This is a book that's reticent to shine a light on its secrets Even the very last scene seems to suggest a new meaning for everything that came before It forces you to reconsider where you've been placing the dramatic emphasis and empathy It's a story where little might happen on the surface but there's simultaneously too much to take in on one reading The doctor's monologues ricochet around the page like indoor fireworks and it's hard to know whether to enjoy the explosions or duck for cover Under the restrained veneer of the descriptions Barnes documents a world of transexuals cruising defrocked priests drunken mothers who abandon their infants feral encounters with animals etc It's often incredibly debauched without being the least bit judgmental of its characters And of course it's a love story It's about a love for oblivion that oblivion you can sometimes find in other people


NightwoodElationships Nora says A man is another person a 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 i. 499995It is wise of me to mention that from here on out I have no idea what I'm talking about Which admittedly is the usual truth of the matter concerning these reviews but this book in particular makes me give a damn about how much knowledge did not or has not yet trickled down and damned up in my mind Not enough to get mad over or perhaps rather not the right type No this is a shaft of light breaking into countless beams that my eye has populated itself with multitudes in hopes of catching only a few a strain of music too high and soft for my bumbling ears to uiver along with all the sensory inputs that my body has not yet found the means of registering fine tuning appreciating However it must be said that the evolution of the reader is far faster than that of physical form And what does come through despite all that is an aurora borealisBooks like these utterly spoil me For example after finishing up another section somewhere in the middle I attempted to read through summaries of future tomes that I had not yet decided to set my sights on Horrors The words were simply there jettisoning their meaning this way and that without care of interpretation or context screaming out simplicity Get your simple definitions your clear cut cultures of conciseness your straight to the point and no nonsense daily dose of saying what you mean and meaning what you say No I said and spent the next twenty minutes huddled over my coffee and staring at nothing in particular I don't want boxes of commercial goods I want to flyFor that is the talent trapped within these pages and if you forced me at gunpoint to encompass it with a single word I would say metaphor If you shot a single bullet past my head and brought the red hot funnel agonizingly close to my forehead and demanded that I do better I would say Pynchonian Fortunately for all there is no gunperson of staggering menace and I can afford to not commit the crime that I decried early on that of lazy linguistics For Pynchonian is easy easy easy easy and likely to get omnipresent nods of approval than any sort of comprehensionIt would be better to say that Pynchon is in fact Barnesian although I do like the feel of Djunian better despite all calls for lexiographical order so I will most likely stick with it until someone manages to convince me otherwise without resorting to offended spittles I cannot stand offended spittles Regardless I suppose we should return to Pynchon who if he had lived a little earlier and gone into liberal arts rather than the sciences and did some amount of experimenting he may have come uite close to the lady of whom he is most certainly a bastard child through some sort of decrepit lineage that invested heavily in the idea of said lineage Or rather history society ideology and the rest of that decaying mass circling around our craniums and swooping in every so often for a uick bite shit and piss The worst of it is the words that we think we know and therefore treat as fact when really metaphor Linguistic joy convivence between the reality and the abstract at its finest the very structure of our civilized existence that has fossilized meaning into packages anyone can use but not everyone can utilize For it takes a boundless amount of seductive metaphor to draw us in and keep us there until we can come out into the sun and see that in the place of the old crumbling same old same old there is something else A little fragile perhaps a little heartbreaking in the effort it makes to grip the wisps of its self together with all the world and its ponderous assumptions of the truth against it But oh so beautifulThe monotone of sexuality the binary of gender and the uestion of love and its many many sorrows That's all that I will say on it for Djuna does much much better and I'd rather you went and saw for yourself the wonder Don't trust the summary It tells the story as well as a web of diaphanous rainbow copes with bricks thrown through its core Djuna is the writer the doctor is her character and we are her audience Djuna is the god the doctor is her prophet and we are at the base of Mount Sinai in defiance of the morals to be decreed and the history of persecution to come That is a lie in respect to the culture with a true hold on the story I have made use of but it is also a metaphor and I use it with full respect For we are prophesied to by the doctor from Djuna in ways strange and unfamiliar for the meaning is too large for simple statement Or rather it is too small and would be uickly overwhelmed with biases and prejudices that fuel the tragedy felt along the lines of script amongst the pages of lines If Djuna let it be so But she doesn't and so the doctor rants and raves his saving and his solutions for everyone ill comes to him but not everyone knows the extent of their illness Self Society Yes but no Night in all its unconscious yearnings unbound in full Day that must carry the night and keep the skeleton of it bound within its paper skin Yes but no Closer Life and all its disparate yearnings on the backs of all these unfed nights all these costumed days Death and the end of every need for a word to explain the life to itself and to othersPerhaps Remember I have no idea what I'm talking about I do know though that I'm talking