21.8.13

Djuna Barnes, stunt journalist

A story from NPR
Djuna Barnes
From NPR (thanks to Cathryn Setz for the link):
A writer, illustrator and provocateur in the Roaring '20s, Djuna Barnes stood out.

"She was much more interested in embracing the quirky and embracing that idea that became so famous in feminist circles half a century later," Catherine Morris says, "the idea that the personal is political."

Morris is the curator of a new exhibition of Barnes' writings and illustrations called "Newspaper Fictions" at the Brooklyn Museum's Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

The story goes that Djuna Barnes — who grew up with her mother, grandmother, polygmaist father, his mistress and brothers she'd help support — walked into the office of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and announced: "I can draw, I can write, you'd be foolish not to hire me." And the paper did.

Barnes' whimsical drawings lent a satirical charm to her reporting. The newsprint and photographs on display are a bit faded, but Barnes' voice is still kicky. You could imagine some of her articles printed today in Vogue or The New Yorker.

"Part of the series that she did was called 'Odd types found in and around Brooklyn,' " Morris tells NPR's Jacki Lyden. "She would find individuals, strange people — across class lines, race lines, across all sorts of social milieus — and kind of draw pictures for her audience. And literally draw pictures." [Read More]

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