Podcast #63: Djuna Barnes

In this episode, translator Laura Radosh introduces us to the fascinating and troubled writer Djuna Barnes. The journalist, novelist, and artist mixed with everyone from James Joyce to Peggy Guggenheim, and was at the center of Bohemian life in 1920s New York and Paris, though perhaps not quite as much as she would like. Best known (if at all) for her modernist novel Nightwood, Djuna once called herself ”the most famous unknown in the world.”

DLS co-founder Florian Duijsens joins producer/host Susan Stone to muse on Djuna and her circle of modernist Dead Ladies.

If you’d like to get advance tickets for our May show in Berlin they are here. DLS NYC tickets can be purchased here.

Also available on SpotifyApple PodcastsRadioPublicPocket CastsStitcherGoogle Podcasts, and Acast.

Show notes:

Read more: Podcast #63: Djuna Barnes
Barnes’s place on Patchin Place
Another portrait by sometime roommate Berenice Abbott
Young Djuna
Grandma Zadel
The note from Zadel Laura mentions
One of Djuna’s elegant drawings
Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, who tragically picked Djuna to be her literary executor
Mary Pyne, the lover whom Djuna nursed until her death of tuberculosis in 1919
Djuna eyeing Mina Loy
The “fountain syringe” used the bottom-left nozzle
To Paris!
Djuna and the Baroness in happier times
Janet Flanner, who covered Paris for the New Yorker
Margaret Anderson & Jane Heap, editors of the Little Review
Natalie Barney, here with Romaine Brooks
Brooks’s typically severe self-portrait
You can see Natalie Barney’s Parisian home and garden with its Temple of Friendship in this documentary.
Silverpoint artist Thelma Wood, who inspired Djuna’s famous Nightwood (1936)
Greta Schiller’s Paris Was a Woman (1996) is well worth seeking out in full!
Peggy Guggenheim
Charles Henri Ford, buttoning up
Listen to Dylan Thomas reading Nightwood here.

You can hear Djuna reading from her autobiographical play in verse The Antiphon at the Paris Review, and check out our episodes on Berenice Abbott and Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.

Our theme music is “Little Lily Swing” by Tri-Tachyon. Want to suggest a Dead Lady for us? Drop us a line to info@deadladiesshow.com or tell us on social media. Thanks for listening! We’ll be back with a new episode next month.