chapter  1
26 Pages

Engendering Modernism: Degeneration, the New Woman Fiction and Modernist Origins

When Djuna Barnes tried to get her highly experimental novel Nightwood3 published in the United States in the early 1930s, she met with negative responses from publishers who rejected the manuscript for its very modernist experimentation. The novel was to become a literary success in intellectual circles on both sides of the Atlantic after Faber & Faber published it in 1936, but Barnes failed to fi nd an American publisher who would accept it. This chapter contextualises Nightwood’s rejection by American publishers within the wider attitudes of the makers of Anglo-American modernism to women modernist writers and the feminine.