Djuna Barnes, A Typical Crazy Writer

In a previous piece, I noted how many writers were nutty or homosexual/bisexual. And the percentage of poets who leave us via suicide would shiver your bones. It’s almost as if they are marked with doom the moment the bright light hits them when they are born.

Djuna Barnes was one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century. Certainly more bisexual than lesbian, she nevertheless spent most of her life in a passionate love affair with another woman. She was part of the Hemingway – Joyce – Woolf – Stein, etc. crowd in Left Bank cafes in the 20’s. An American, She lived her whole life in the shadow of the Eifel Tower.

She wrote a couple of great books, including Nightwood, one of the best novels of the 20th Century, and then she went away. She faded away into a reclusive alcoholic in her in Paris apartment. She could often be heard by neighbors drunkenly ranting and screaming to no one in particular. She died relatively young, like so many of them. Typical sad, crazy writer story.

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