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Obscene Hungers: Eating and Enjoying Nightwood and Ulysses

Obscene Hungers: Eating and Enjoying Nightwood and Ulysses ElizabEth blakE Obscene Hungers Eating and Enjoying Nightwood and Ulysses e Th n she began to bark also, crawling ae ft r him—barking in a fit of laughter, obscene and touching. Djuna Barnes, Nightwood It is from a horror of life that Miss Barnes’ work springs, and her book, it is to be carefully noted, is no more for general and indiscriminate reading than is Mr. Joyce’s Ulysses. It is sometimes obscene, though never pornographic. Graham Greene, “Fiction Chronicle” One of T.S. Eliot’s primary concerns, in his capacity as Djuna Barnes’s editor, was that Nightwood would be, as Ulysse was, c s alled obscene, tried, and banned. This fear is reflected in both his introduction to the novel and his editorial changes, which include the suggestion—discarded before publication but attested in the manuscripts—that the word “obscene” be replaced with “unclean” in the novel’s final pages (186). That this substitution did not make it into print suggests the in- adequacy of Eliot’s replacement, which fails to account for the allure of obscenity, reducing it to something that arouses repugnance, rather than desire. Yet obscenity, as Graham Greene makes clear in his review of Nightw, a ood rouses more than just http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Obscene Hungers: Eating and Enjoying Nightwood and Ulysses

The Comparatist , Volume 39 – Nov 20, 2015

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

ElizabEth blakE Obscene Hungers Eating and Enjoying Nightwood and Ulysses e Th n she began to bark also, crawling ae ft r him—barking in a fit of laughter, obscene and touching. Djuna Barnes, Nightwood It is from a horror of life that Miss Barnes’ work springs, and her book, it is to be carefully noted, is no more for general and indiscriminate reading than is Mr. Joyce’s Ulysses. It is sometimes obscene, though never pornographic. Graham Greene, “Fiction Chronicle” One of T.S. Eliot’s primary concerns, in his capacity as Djuna Barnes’s editor, was that Nightwood would be, as Ulysse was, c s alled obscene, tried, and banned. This fear is reflected in both his introduction to the novel and his editorial changes, which include the suggestion—discarded before publication but attested in the manuscripts—that the word “obscene” be replaced with “unclean” in the novel’s final pages (186). That this substitution did not make it into print suggests the in- adequacy of Eliot’s replacement, which fails to account for the allure of obscenity, reducing it to something that arouses repugnance, rather than desire. Yet obscenity, as Graham Greene makes clear in his review of Nightw, a ood rouses more than just

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 20, 2015

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