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Nightwood (Compact Disc)
Nightwood is a true feat in modernist literature written by the self-described "most famous unknown author in the world," Djuna Barnes. Barnes wrote and lived in New York and across Europe for much of the 1920s and 30s. To describe the plot of the novel would not do justice to the novel itself, as it is the poetry of the writing that makes it such a treat. But in brief it is a story about the men and women whose lives are touched and overtaken by the main character Robin Vote, a woman who, much like Barnes herself, has a ferocity and style that is far ahead of its time.— Lydia
Nightwood, Djuna Barnes's strange and sinuous tour de force 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 Wandering 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's depiction of these characters and their relationships has made the novel a landmark of feminist and lesbian literature.