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Dreams of a Lost Modernist: A Reevaluation of Thelma Wood

Dreams of a Lost Modernist: A Reevaluation of Thelma Wood Joanne Winning In his article `Djuna Barnes' Mystery in Morocco: Making the Most of Little', Peter Mailloux eloquently represents the particular problems and seductions of undertaking biographical work on the complex figure of the modernist writer Djuna Barnes. He notes that Barnes presents difficult, yet irresistibly compelling challenges to the wouldbe biographer, in that the questions which arise in working on her life story seem to `guarantee new ground to be uncovered and new centers around which to construct a personality'.1 Mailloux's article focuses on certain oblique references in Barnes' correspondence to a traumatic event that took place in Morocco at some undisclosed time. Without a firm fix on date and place, Mailloux plots his attempts to solve this particular `mystery'. By implication, one might say, Mailloux demonstrates the way in which biographical work on Barnes seems inevitably to become embroiled in the unravelling of many different mysteries. This is partly the effect of her own deliberate obscuring of the details of past and the sheer, seeming `mess' of much of it, as well as the need to make recourse to life-story, even for those critics and readers who would rather not engage with it, because of Barnes' http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Dreams of a Lost Modernist: A Reevaluation of Thelma Wood

Modernist Cultures , Volume 8 (2): 288 – Oct 1, 2013

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2013
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2013.0066
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Joanne Winning In his article `Djuna Barnes' Mystery in Morocco: Making the Most of Little', Peter Mailloux eloquently represents the particular problems and seductions of undertaking biographical work on the complex figure of the modernist writer Djuna Barnes. He notes that Barnes presents difficult, yet irresistibly compelling challenges to the wouldbe biographer, in that the questions which arise in working on her life story seem to `guarantee new ground to be uncovered and new centers around which to construct a personality'.1 Mailloux's article focuses on certain oblique references in Barnes' correspondence to a traumatic event that took place in Morocco at some undisclosed time. Without a firm fix on date and place, Mailloux plots his attempts to solve this particular `mystery'. By implication, one might say, Mailloux demonstrates the way in which biographical work on Barnes seems inevitably to become embroiled in the unravelling of many different mysteries. This is partly the effect of her own deliberate obscuring of the details of past and the sheer, seeming `mess' of much of it, as well as the need to make recourse to life-story, even for those critics and readers who would rather not engage with it, because of Barnes'

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2013

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