We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR
title

Bryher

Two Novels: Development And Two Selves

Bryher

Publication Year: 2000

Bryher (born Annie Winifred Ellerman) is perhaps best known today as the lifelong partner of the poet H.D. She was, however, a central figure in modernist and avant-garde cultural experimentation in the early twentieth century; a prolific producer of poetry, novels, autobiography, and criticism; and an intimate and patron of such modernist artists as Gertrude Stein, Marianne Moore, and Dorothy Richardson. Bryher’s own path-breaking writing has remained largely neglected, long out of print, and inaccessible to those interested in her oeuvre. Now, for the first time since their original publication in the early 1920s, two of Bryher's pioneering works of fictionalized autobiography, titled Development and Two Selves, are reprinted in one volume for a new audience of readers, scholars, and critics.
    Blending poetry, prose, and autobiographical details, Development and Two Selves together constitute a compelling bildungsroman that is among the first ever to follow a young woman's process of coming out. Through the fictionalized character Nancy, the novels trace Bryher’s life through her childhood and young adulthood, giving the reader an account of the development of a unique lesbian, feminist, and modernist consciousness. Development and Two Selves recover significant work by one of the first experimenters of the modernist movement and are a welcome reintroduction of the enigmatic Bryher.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Front Matter

pdf iconDownload PDF (31.9 KB)
pp. i-iv

read more

INTRODUCTION

pdf iconDownload PDF (107.9 KB)
pp. v-xli

BOTH Development and Two Selves have been absent from the literary landscape since the period of their first publication during the early 1920s. This is a result partly of the larger marginalization of the texts written by the women of the modernist...

DEVELOPMENT

read more

PREFACE

pdf iconDownload PDF (36.9 KB)
pp. 7-13

THIS is a singular book; in many ways, a remarkable book. To any one interested in the reasons why of personality (as I confess myself to be), it cannot fail to provoke attention. The autobiographic novel has an illustrious ancestry, the autobiography masquerading as novel is almost as numerous...

CONTENTS

pdf iconDownload PDF (18.6 KB)
pp. 15-17

BOOK I. EPIC CHILDHOOD

pdf iconDownload PDF (11.3 KB)
pp. 19-

read more

CHAPTER I. THE AGE OF DISCOVERY

pdf iconDownload PDF (44.1 KB)
pp. 21-31

ADVENTURE and the salt edges of the sea beat against the window clamorous through the rain. Nancy was sitting in a box at the edge of the nursery table, listening to the Swiss Family Robinson being read to her aloud. The box was really a boat, and by the exercise of some imagination...

read more

CHAPTER II. HISTORY

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.1 KB)
pp. 32-39

“I HATE Michel Angelo.” The custodian looked shocked, a passing visitor smiled. Nancy stared at the head of the faun with more than a little fear she would surrender to some compelling power in the rough marble, gazing up at her with such inscrutable eyes, but she was tired of Michel Angelo, the name followed them everywhere, besides nobody could explain to her what a faun was. Outside

read more

CHAPTER III. HIEROGLYPHICS

pdf iconDownload PDF (46.5 KB)
pp. 40-51

HURRIED days in Naples, a sudden decision, watching for the ship in the rifts of sea between the crimson roses, going on board, coming up the first morning to see Stromboli volcanic blue within the distance; storm, leaning on the rail to watch an Arab in scarlet fez spring on deck, first hint of Egypt, these and a confused impression of hieroglyphics, Bedouins, Thotmes, and the desert merged in a vague expectancy as the train left Alexandria. Nancy was bitterly ashamed of herself. She had...

read more

CHAPTER IV. TRUANT WITH ADVENTURE

pdf iconDownload PDF (45.3 KB)
pp. 52-63

THE brown ears of Nancy’s mule twitched in a slow rhythm. She was jolted upwards at an aggravatingly even pace, ahead, as usual, by some hundred yards. Light was regal about the fretted ridges, the luminous air lived; morning, jocund and defiant, leapt on the snowy...

read more

CHAPTER V. ALMOND-BLOSSOM

pdf iconDownload PDF (26.3 KB)
pp. 64-69

A DELICATE foam of almond-blossom shimmered the naked earth, fell lightly on Nancy’s hair, was blown, with what wind there was, to make of ruined Naxos a newer city of living petals. A herd of brown and shaggy goats passed under a geranium hedge, a spear’s length high. A sea of lazuli beat...

read more

CHAPTER VI. APRIL

pdf iconDownload PDF (43.9 KB)
pp. 70-80

“WHAT is a pterodactyl?” The family sighed. Unexpected questions in an imperious voice were ever an ominous sign. Nancy’s habit of reading anything from a time-table to a dictionary was responsible for a great deal of miscellaneous knowledge, but nobody knew where her interest would lead her next. A visitor,...

BOOK II. BONDAGE

pdf iconDownload PDF (11.4 KB)
pp. 81-

read more

CHAPTER I. TRAGIC REALITY

pdf iconDownload PDF (43.5 KB)
pp. 83-97

SATURDAY morning. May, in mockery, painted the skies her most radiant blue, the sun set the bees humming in the ivy, and all along the garden path golden-hearted tulips lifted their exultant scarlet heads—but nothing might comfort her. She walked out silently, though inwardly she raged like a caged animal, shaken with that wild anger which only children feel, suddenly deprived of their freedom for some reason they cannot understand. At nine o’clock she was...

read more

CHAPTER II. A CAPTIVE YEAR

pdf iconDownload PDF (64.2 KB)
pp. 98-119

WASTE. The dreary voice of a mistress made the French she read a mockery. Eyes, dulled and unquestioning, followed unnecessary explanations on the blackboard; scribbled notes, copied rules, to which they would never refer. Not a girl was idle, joyfully idle; not a mind was interested; not a thought was alert. The class was heavy...

BOOK III. TRANSITION

pdf iconDownload PDF (11.6 KB)
pp. 121-

read more

CHAPTER I. MIRAGE

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.3 KB)
pp. 123-132

NANCY leaned on the rail, watching the horizon, eager for Syracuse. It was too late for almond-blossom, but there was snow on Etna and the South itself to welcome her—the South, after six years. The past few months...

read more

CHAPTER II. “VERS LIBRE”

pdf iconDownload PDF (35.6 KB)
pp. 133-139

“I WANT to read Verhaeren.” Nancy was finishing a French lesson in a vain attempt to recapture the accent lost at school. To an enthusiastic admirer of the Elizabethans with their richness and their freedom, the perpetual Alexandrine was wearying...

read more

CHAPTER III. BARRIERS

pdf iconDownload PDF (33.0 KB)
pp. 140-149

HER book had come. Nancy turned the pages without excitement, almost without interest. Weary of having her ambitions treated as a passing whim, weary for friendship; she had arranged for the best of her verses to be published at her own expense. They had seemed so beautiful when...

read more

CHAPTER IV. SALT WATER

pdf iconDownload PDF (27.6 KB)
pp. 150-156

POEMS, breathed by the sun into material form, the Scillies rose from the summer depths of blue and iridescent marble. There was little of earth about the islands; even the hills had the curve of a wave; on the western rocks white sand rifted through the grass. The sleepiest July, stirring amid...

read more

CHAPTER V. THE COLOUR OF WORDS

pdf iconDownload PDF (50.3 KB)
pp. 157-170

EVER since Nancy could remember, all words, as she heard or read them, appeared to her as colour. It was as natural as breathing, so thoroughly an element of her mind that it was only by accident she discovered, at fifteen, they were printed symbols to the multitude, and to speak...

read more

CHAPTER VI. VISUAL IMAGINATION

pdf iconDownload PDF (35.9 KB)
pp. 171-177

THERE is existence. There is life. Existence is transient. Life is eternal. Existence begins with birth and ends with death. Life is immortality touched and tasted—the gift of a rare moment. Existence is earth. Life is the root and leaf—flower of dream opening from the calyx of reality. The aim of the artist is...

TWO SELVES

TABLE OF CONTENTS

pdf iconDownload PDF (16.3 KB)
pp. 182-

read more

CHAPTER I. TWO SELVES

pdf iconDownload PDF (35.5 KB)
pp. 183-189

TWO selves. Jammed against each other, disjointed and ill-fitting. An obedient Nancy with heavy plaits tied over two ears that answered “yes, no, yes, no,” according as the wind blew. A boy, a brain, that planned adventures and sought wisdom. Two personalities...

read more

CHAPTER II. LEOPARD GOLD

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.4 KB)
pp. 190-197

“BEHOLDING Joseph’s beauty, her knife cut the hand that held the pomegranate.” Professor Foster’s even voice read out the unfamiliar words, translating as he went from Arabic to English. “How very stupid of her,” commented Miss Leyton, the Egyptologist, leaning back against the arm of her chair. “Let us hope she was...

read more

CHAPTER III. PATCHWORK

pdf iconDownload PDF (61.6 KB)
pp. 198-217

“YOU’RE too early,” Miss Cape said as Nancy took down her fencing mask. “It will be another ten minutes before they finish.” The room shook with the stamp of feet overhead. Occasionally a word in French rang out above the clatter of the foils. Nancy shifted...

read more

CHAPTER IV. CHERRY PIE

pdf iconDownload PDF (29.6 KB)
pp. 218-221

“TO WIN freedom I must write a book.” Easy enough to say but words were brittle playthings. And worse than words were thoughts.
“Oh, why do the great winds Come whispering to me? My heart’s aboard a drifter That sails the swinging sea.”

read more

CHAPTER V. BROKEN GLASS

pdf iconDownload PDF (29.5 KB)
pp. 222-229

“IT MUST last three years. Don’t tell people so, Nancy, or they will laugh at you. But once a gigantic outbreak of this kind is set in motion it cannot stop suddenly. I’m afraid to think, if we could have peace to-morrow, of the re-organization necessary before normal conditions could be resumed. It has thrust civilization back for fifty years and...

read more

CHAPTER VI. PEACH JAM

pdf iconDownload PDF (48.4 KB)
pp. 230-243

THE Scillies were a saga come to life; tangle of sea thrift and ice plant floating on the current. Gulls flew up from the white flecked tide; drifters were anchored in the Sound. The water under the quay was dark as basalt or where the stones...

read more

CHAPTER VII. ELEANOR

pdf iconDownload PDF (34.4 KB)
pp. 244-249

“HULLO, Eleanor, what do you make of the war? It’s months since I’ve seen you.” Nancy flung over a rug (there was not enough coal to have a fire upstairs) and settled back in her chair under an eiderdown. “It’s smashing us out right enough,” Eleanor grumbled. “The men I know are killed or so broken that they are simply lethargic. And as...

read more

CHAPTER VIII. SCARLET AND SILVER

pdf iconDownload PDF (45.6 KB)
pp. 250-261

SEVEN years. Seven chapters for seven years. Strands of Elizabethan, French and American woven into a rope together. Cherry pie and Bellario, leather and rose leaves, tumble of canyon words, blurring and merging into a background of rain and scarlet as the oyster sky swallowed up bus and pillar box and London night drooped sadly...

read more

CHAPTER IX. REBELLION

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.4 KB)
pp. 262-265

IT WAS queer, the stillness. It crept over the room like a fog. The tension of waiting for a word to burst it, made it hard to bear. It soughed in waves and beyond them, thin, electric, came the rumble of wheels that linked hope up to life. When the wheels ceased the silence pricked needle points into bare flesh....

read more

CHAPTER X. SNOW AND APPLE FLOWERS

pdf iconDownload PDF (50.9 KB)
pp. 266-280

IT BURST like a flame, the South. In the midst of the snow with a pale primrose moon shivering over the crackling trees. Snowflakes pushed like buds out of the twigs. Branches bent like birds, shook themselves, sprang up free. She had to do something or die. Die mentally. Which meant gradual disintegration of all forces, intellectual, physical....

read more

CHAPTER XI. MEETING

pdf iconDownload PDF (142.3 KB)
pp. 281-289

“IF YOU’RE cold there’s a spare blanket at the bottom of the bed.” “Thanks but I’ll be all right. I’ve got on woolly pyjamas.” Nancy lay watching the stars set overhead like a thousand stamens in some purple daisy. The tall silver leaves of a eucalyptus tree fell over the parapet about the flat roof. She had...


E-ISBN-13: 9780299167738
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299167745

Publication Year: 2000