By Natalie Clifford Barney
Eventually, the writing of 1 of the century's such a lot infamous lesbians comes in English. although most sensible recognized for web hosting the avant garde of Paris for thirty years, Colette, Renee Vivien, Marcel Proust and Gertrude Stein, to say a number of, she used to be additionally a author who challenged the male-dominated literary institution either within the content material and the shape of her paintings. Now we will be able to become aware of her perspectives at the humans, locations and occasions of that fascinating and stimulating period for ourselves. here's a lively translation of Barney's thought-provoking paintings via one in every of Britain's finest writers.
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Extra resources for A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney
Barney came from the wealthiest circle of American industrialist families and eventually inherited over four million dollars. C. and Bar Harbor in select social circles. Her father, Albert Clifford Barney, lived off the proceeds of a railroad fortune, and her mother, Alice Pike Barney, was also an heiress. " He seems to have been a self-centered man who had no great interest in either his work or his family. He retired on the fortune made by his ancestors and tended to ignore his wife and two daughters unless they did something that offended his rigid social sensibilities, such as Natalie's lesbian love poems (Some Portraits and Sonnets of Women), which his wife had either naively or defiantly illustrated with portraits of some of Natalie's lovers.
Being separated from our pets: two dogs, a bulldog and a Blenheim, a goat, some baby alligators from Florida, a little parrot and a big one, made us more unhappy than saying goodbye to our friends. It was heartbreaking to leave behind my Shetland, Tricksy, that tiny, shaggy little pony which I used to drive in our pony-cart with my little sister, and which I was learning to ride, not without incident! When we left Ohio we even missed the little river which, seen through a veil of tears, became unforgettable, like our house which had already sheltered the shy tenderness of first love.
After some adolescent crushes, experimentation, and early relationships, she was smitten by Liane de Pougy, the most famous courtesan of the Belle Epoque. Natalie's determination to "rescue" Liane from the demimonde, even if Natalie had to marry a suitor, William Morrow (called "Freddy" in her memoir) in order to raise the capital to do so, shows an early inclination to play the knight in her relationships with other women. This proclivity helps explain why she was drawn to Renée Vivien, whom she felt she had to save from her obsession with death, and later to Romaine Brooks, whose unfortunate childhood left her with little love of social commerce.