American Writers, Supplement III by Lea Baechler and A. Walton Litz

By Lea Baechler and A. Walton Litz

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Contemporary Literature, 23:493-514 (Fall 1982). Davidson, Michael. " Chicago Review, 27:11-22 (Summer 1975). Donoghue, Denis. " In his Reading America: Essays on American Literature. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987. Pp. 302-319. Fredman, Stephen. " In his Poet's Prose: The Crisis in American Verse. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1983. Pp. 99-133. Holden, Jonathan. " In his The Rhetoric of the Contemporary Lyric. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1980. Pp. 98-111. Hollander, John.

Gullies, hummocks Can't withstand it. The sky shudders from one horizon To the other, almost ready to give up wholeness. Then Apollo quietly told him: "Leave it all on earth. Your lute, what point? " But why not? All other things must change too. Eurydice is taken for granted here in this seriocomic apocalypse, which reminds one that Ovid's Orpheus, who taught men how to love young boys, was the mythical inventor not only of elegy but of homosexuality. The real test is not the absence of Eurydice but the presence of Apollo, who reminds the songster of the burden of the past.

Her grandmother, a powerful influence on Djuna's life, had been a journalist and had conducted a salon in London that included Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lady Wilde, mother of Oscar Wilde. This unorthodox "family" lived first in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, where Djuna Chappell Barnes was born on June 12, 1892, and later in Huntington Township, Long Island. These family relationships were treated in Barnes's later writings. Recent biographical research shows that at age eighteen Barnes lived for two or three months with fifty-two-year-old Percy Faulkner, the brother of her father's mistress, following an unofficial family ceremony in the farmhouse.

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