Djuna Barnes

(1892-1982 / Storm King Mountain, New York)

Djuna Barnes Quotes

  • ''Well, isn't Bohemia a place where everyone is as good as everyone else—and must not a waiter be a little less than a waiter to be a good Bohemian?''
    Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), U.S. author, poet, columnist. repr. In Djuna Barnes's New York (1989). "Becoming Intimate with the Bohemians," New York Morning Telegraph Sunday Magazine (Nov. 19, 1916).
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  • ''The heart of the jealous knows the best and most satisfying love, that of the other's bed, where the rival perfects the lover's imperfections.''
    Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), U.S. author, poet, columnist. Doctor, in Nightwood, ch. 5 (1936).
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  • ''I'm a fart in a gale of wind, a humble violet, under a cow pat.''
    Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), U.S. author, poet, columnist. Doctor, in Nightwood, ch. 5 (1936).
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  • ''Dreams have only the pigmentation of fact.''
    Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), U.S. author, poet, columnist. Doctor, in Nightwood, ch. 5 (1936).
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  • ''The night is a skin pulled over the head of day that the day may be in torment.''
    Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), U.S. author, poet, columnist. Doctor, in Nightwood, ch. 5 (1936).
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  • ''Sleep demands of us a guilty immunity. There is not one of us who, given an eternal incognito, a thumbprint nowhere set against our souls, would not commit rape, murder and all abominations.''
    Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), U.S. author, poet, columnist. Doctor, in Nightwood, ch. 5 (1936).
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  • ''New York is the meeting place of the peoples, the only city where you can hardly find a typical American.''
    Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), U.S. author, poet, columnist. repr. In Djuna Barnes's New York (1989). "Greenwich Village as It Is," Pearson's Magazine (Oct. 1916).
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  • ''After all, it is not where one washes one's neck that counts but where one moistens one's throat.''
    Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), U.S. author, poet, columnist. repr. In Djuna Barnes's New York (1989). "Greenwich Village As It Is," Pearson's Magazine (Oct. 1916).
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  • ''We are beginning to wonder whether a servant girl hasn't the best of it after all. She knows how the salad tastes without the dressing, and she knows how life's lived before it gets to the parlor door.''
    Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), U.S. author, poet, columnist. repr. In Djuna Barnes's New York (1989). "The Home Club: For Servants Only," Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Oct. 12, 1913).
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Best Poem of Djuna Barnes

Twilight Of The Illicit

You, with your long blank udders
And your calms,
Your spotted linen and your
Slack'ning arms.
With satiated fingers dragging
At your palms.

Your knees set far apart like
Heavy spheres;
With discs upon your eyes like
Husks of tears,
And great ghastly loops of gold
Snared in your ears.

Your dying hair hand-beaten
'Round your head.
Lips, long lengthened by wise words
Unsaid.
And in your living all grimaces
Of the dead.

One sees you sitting in the sun
Asleep;
With the sweeter gifts you had
And didn't keep,
One grieves ...

Read the full of Twilight Of The Illicit

Suicide

Corpse A

They brought her in, a shattered small
Cocoon,
With a little bruised body like
A startled moon;
And all the subtle symphonies of her
A twilight rune.

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