Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913–1919
Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913–1919 is an exploration of the early journalistic career of American writer and women’s rights advocate Djuna Barnes (1892–1982). Though best known for her modernist novels and plays, including Nightwood (1936) and The Antiphon (1958), Barnes spent the period between 1913 and her departure for Europe in 1921 living in New York’s Greenwich Village and working as a writer and illustrator for publications including the Brooklyn Daily Eagle andVanity Fair. The product of an unconventional household, she developed an outsider’s perspective on “normal” life that served her as an artist, and a liberal sexuality that fit in perfectly with the bohemian lifestyle of Greenwich Village and, later, the lesbian expatriate community in Paris. She used journalism as a means to understand New York City’s people and places, and as an excuse to push boundaries and explore society’s margins. On view will be forty-five objects, including documentary photographs, drawings, works on paper, and Barnes’s stories in newsprint, including eight illustrations she composed to accompany her newspaper columns. Her work suggests a proto-feminist sensibility, emphasizing politics as something experienced on an individual, emotional level.