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Download A Perilous Advantage: The Best of Natalie Clifford Barney by Natalie Clifford Barney PDF

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 webhosting the avant garde of Paris for thirty years, Colette, Renee Vivien, Marcel Proust and Gertrude Stein, to say a number of, she was once additionally a author who challenged the male-dominated literary institution either within the content material and the shape of her paintings. Now we will notice her perspectives at the humans, areas and occasions of that intriguing and stimulating period for ourselves. here's a lively translation of Barney's thought-provoking paintings through certainly one of Britain's finest writers.

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As I went into her darkened boudoir, I saw a figure stretched out on a chaise-lounge. Moved by the sight, I had sunk down on one knee to offer her a bouquet of flowers when I heard someone laugh. Looking up I realized that the figure in front of me was not my idol but a stand-in and I got to my feet right away. A ravishing face with short curly hair like a Fra Angelico angel appeared from behind a curtain. Liane had hidden away so she could observe me... " She was dressed from head to foot in diaphanous white.

Despite our divergent interests—or maybe because of them—His Excellency observed my life with interest and pleasure, while I enjoyed watching him watching me, not from vanity but because he was a clear-sighted, warm-hearted, shrewd observer. " After those two years of society life, in which I played my role as debutante very successfully throughout the series of parties, balls, cotillions, luncheons for young ladies and Embassy dinners, I was eager to resume my exploration of other worlds and, particularly, to pursue the kind of adventures which excited me, in contrast to the rigid protocol of high society.

She frequently remarked that one should not write about romance, but live it. Elsewhere, she quipped that her favorite book was her checkbook. Remarks such as these shed some light on her anti-academic stance. Barney obviously felt that ideas should be lived, not merely entertained. It was more important to be a humanitarian than a bibliophile. The attempt by Barney, along with Renée Vivien, to establish a neo-Sapphic creative community on Lesbos in 1904 and Barney's establishment of a literary salon for women in 1927 are examples of the urge they shared to convert theory into practice.

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