Saturday, 5 March 2011

Literary Style II

Time for another installation of Literary Style!

I first read Djuna Barnes' Nightwood as part of one of my first literature classes at university, and it left a great impression on me. I cannot pretend I understand it fully yet, but I would like to read it again a few more times; it's one of those books that does not unfold itself to you after one reading, or even after having a few classes on it. Still, I think that it is very much worth spending time on: it is beautiful and terrible, charming and ugly all at once.

This description of Robin Vote comes back to me very often. Many different things I appreciate are encompassed within this description, not only because of the images it directly presents, but also because of the feeling that surrounds it.

"Her clothes were of a period that he could not quite place. She wore feathers of the kind his mother had worn, flattened sharply to the face. Her skirts were moulded to her hips and fell downward and out, wider and longer than those of other women, heavy silks that made her seem newly ancient. One day he learned the secret. Pricing a small tapestry in an antique shop facing the Seine, he saw Robin reflected in a door mirror of a back room, dressed in heavy brocaded gown which time had stained in places, in others split, yet which was so voluminous that there were yards enough to refashion." -Djuna Barnes, Nightwood p. 46

Coming next: Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, as kindly suggested by Lin.
Feel free to tell me of any character or book you would like to see here! I will finally have time to read books that aren't school-related in about a month, and I would be glad to receive your suggestions!


  1. I am in love with all of these items! And I love how the inspiration come from something in this post. :)

    <3Chelsea Elizabeth

  2. i am always fascinated by the words that conjure up images...or music that creates images...or images that lead to other images...
    i sit happy in this boat.

  3. Chelsea Elizabeth: I believe inspiration can come from anything, glad you liked this post :)!
    If Jane: I definitely agree with you... How those images appear is often unexplainable and all the more fascinating.

  4. That was beautiful, I'm quite intrigued by the book - something new to add to my reading list. I find myself reaching for the same authors too often.

    And can't wait to see your Hemingway post! Thanks for taking my suggestion.


Dear reader, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I do my best to respond to all comments in a timely manner, and although I sometimes may be slow, you can be sure they will all be answered by the time a new post has been published.