Wild Heart: A Life: Natalie Clifford Barney and the Decadence of Literary Paris

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9780060937805: Wild Heart: A Life: Natalie Clifford Barney and the Decadence of Literary Paris

Born in 1876, Natalie Barney-beautiful, charismatic, brilliant and wealthy-was expected to marry well and lead the conventional life of a privileged society woman. But Natalie had no interest in marriage and made no secret of the fact that she was attracted to women. Brought up by a talented and rebellious mother-the painter Alice Barney-Natalie cultivated an interest in poetry and the arts. When she moved to Paris in the early 1900s, she plunged into the city's literary scene, opening a famed Left Bank literary salon and engaging in a string of scandalous affairs with courtesan Liane de Pougy, poet Renee Vivien, and painter Romaine Brooks, among others. For the rest of her long and controversial life Natalie Barney was revered by writers for her generous, eccentric spirit and reviled by high society for her sexual appetite. In the end, she served as an inspiration and came to know many of the greatest names of 20th century arts and letters-including Proust, Colette, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Isadora Duncan, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Truman Capote.

A dazzling literary biography, Wild Heart: A Life is a story of a woman who has been an icon to many. Set against the backdrop of two different societies-Victorian America and Belle Epoque Europe—Wild Heart: A Life beautifully captures the richness of their lore.

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About the Author:

Suzanne Rodriguez is the author of Found Meals of the Lost Generation, a social history of Americans in Paris in the 1920s. She lives in California.

From Publishers Weekly:

Born in 1876 to a wealthy American family from Ohio with connections to the arts her grandfather built the second opera house in New York City Barney began her public life at the age of six when she met Oscar Wilde. After coming out as a lesbian in the U.S. (at 17, she had her first love affair with 20-year-old Evalina Palmer), Barney moved to Paris in 1899 and began a very public affair with Lilane de Pougy, celebrated courtesan and author of romantic potboilers. By 1903, Barney boasted of having "the most respectable of bad reputations"; no less then three literary works (including a novel by Colette) featured thinly veiled portraits of her as a notorious lesbian. Notoriety begot legend as Barney, having formed deep friendships with Gide, Pierre Louys, Paul Claudel, Remy Gourmont and other literary stars, became one of the most famous salonists in Paris as well as a noted poet and novelist who published 21 books. By the time of her death in 1972, Barney was a literary and social institution. Rodriguez (Found Meals of the Lost Generation) has done a superb job assembling the historical details (she traces Barney's ancestry back to the mid-1700s) and in fleshing out Parisian literary history (such as Barney's intense rivalry with Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas). She deals with the romantic complications of Barney's life, especially a long affair with painter Romaine Brooks, with grace, and delineates the contradictions in Barney's life, such as espousing a glib anti-Semitism even as she was being harassed by the Nazis because of her Jewish heritage. This bio, the first of Barney in English in more than 20 years, should resurrect deserved interest in a major 20th-century literary player.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Born in 1876, Natalie Barney-beautiful, charismatic, brilliant and wealthy-was expected to marry well and lead the conventional life of a privileged society woman. But Natalie had no interest in marriage and made no secret of the fact that she was attracted to women. Brought up by a talented and rebellious mother-the painter Alice Barney-Natalie cultivated an interest in poetry and the arts. When she moved to Paris in the early 1900s, she plunged into the city s literary scene, opening a famed Left Bank literary salon and engaging in a string of scandalous affairs with courtesan Liane de Pougy, poet Renee Vivien, and painter Romaine Brooks, among others. For the rest of her long and controversial life Natalie Barney was revered by writers for her generous, eccentric spirit and reviled by high society for her sexual appetite. In the end, she served as an inspiration and came to know many of the greatest names of 20th century arts and letters-including Proust, Colette, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Isadora Duncan, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Truman Capote. A dazzling literary biography, Wild Heart: A Life is a story of a woman who has been an icon to many. Set against the backdrop of two different societies-Victorian America and Belle Epoque Europe--Wild Heart: A Life beautifully captures the richness of their lore. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060937805

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Born in 1876, Natalie Barney-beautiful, charismatic, brilliant and wealthy-was expected to marry well and lead the conventional life of a privileged society woman. But Natalie had no interest in marriage and made no secret of the fact that she was attracted to women. Brought up by a talented and rebellious mother-the painter Alice Barney-Natalie cultivated an interest in poetry and the arts. When she moved to Paris in the early 1900s, she plunged into the city s literary scene, opening a famed Left Bank literary salon and engaging in a string of scandalous affairs with courtesan Liane de Pougy, poet Renee Vivien, and painter Romaine Brooks, among others. For the rest of her long and controversial life Natalie Barney was revered by writers for her generous, eccentric spirit and reviled by high society for her sexual appetite. In the end, she served as an inspiration and came to know many of the greatest names of 20th century arts and letters-including Proust, Colette, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Isadora Duncan, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Truman Capote. A dazzling literary biography, Wild Heart: A Life is a story of a woman who has been an icon to many. Set against the backdrop of two different societies-Victorian America and Belle Epoque Europe--Wild Heart: A Life beautifully captures the richness of their lore. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060937805

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