0641 | Nightwood | Djuna Barnes


No clue why this is regarded as some kind of seminal work in queer literature. It’s certainly queer, but not in the way the gushing Winterson considers it in her foreword.

It’s kind of very loosely about the love of two women for each other, but then it’s not even really about that. In fact, you’d be hard pushed to say that it’s about anything at all.

There are a number of characters who are linked by their love for a woman who basically trashes them all emotionally, and there’s a mad doctor. He gives them advice at various stages which either resembles the ramblings of a madman or some esoteric philosopher no one can make head nor tail of.

It’s very tedious to read, there’s no real plot to speak of, and the whole thing has aged quite badly indeed. There’s really nothing here so it’s no surprise that it’s fallen into obscurity.

There is one plus point, though: it’s fewer than 200 pages long.

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