BARNEY NATALIE CLIFFORD (1876-1972)

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BARNEY NATALIE CLIFFORD (1876-1972)

« l’Amazone », Franco-American playwright, poet and novelist. 28 autograph signed letters. « Nathalie Clifford Barney » dated 1901-1916, letters to Pierre LOUŸS ; approximately 75 pages, variable formats, mostly in-8 and in-12 (one written in the margins of a newspaper clipping), 2 letters with her embossed monogram, a few on different letterhead (Hôtel Regina, Stationery Hôtel d’Albe, Hôtel La Pérouse), 24 envelopes ; in French (three letters with a few lines in English).
Very complete and fascinating correspondence. Openly lesbian, Nathialie Clifford Barney began publishing love poems to women under her own name as early as 1900, considering scandal as “the best way of getting rid of nuisances” (meaning heterosexual attention from young men). For instance, the young woman shares with Pierre Louÿs her anger when confronted with Ollendorff’s hesitations to publish her work and the prudishness of the senator René Béranger, of whom Pierre Louÿs was particularly critical. About her projected book she says: « Seriously, my book is not dangerous. If it is about two women lovers, it really is not my fault ; one never criticized albinoses for havink pink eyes, whoy would one be against me being a lesbian ? It is really only a question of nature... ». She is being called back to America and asks Pierre Louÿs to read and preface her upcoming novel that she dedicates to him. There are six other letters of Nathalie Barney to Pierre Louÿs, now at the University of Texas at Austin (Baudelaire to Beckett, Austin 1976, n° 300). Some ten letters of Louÿs to Barney are in the Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet (Paris) with three letters of Barney to Louÿs, written in an agressive tone, that Louÿs had sent back to her so she could tear them up herself (Autour de Natalie Clifford Barney, 1976, p. 49-51). provenance Catalogue Pierre Louÿs (Librairie Jean-Claude Vrain, 2009, n° 478)
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