Although you’d never know it from the tangle of arrows below, I actually tried, tried to make this diagram intelligible, but when you’re mapping the relations of H.D. (Hilda Doolittle, born on this day in 1886) and Bryher (Annie Winifred Ellerman), complication is a given. They were, respectively, an American writer best known for her poetry, and an English writer born into fantastic wealth, whose historical novels are now largely forgotten. Their relationship lasted from 1918 to H.D.’s death in 1961 but as the diagram indicates, this was a far from exclusive arrangement.
There is already an overlap with our first attempt at this diagram thingummy in the person of Peter Warlock. As with that debut attempt, this representation is of necessity subjective, selective and simplified, and it’s easier to read if you click through and view it on its own. And if it looks complicated to you, just imagine being Perdita…
If nothing else this serves as a placeholder for things to come back to: the amazing film Borderline (in which Bryher looks like she’s been CGI’d in from decades into the future), the Swiss Modernist masterpiece Villa Kenwin, Robert McAlmon’s posthumously published roman à clef The Nightinghouls of Paris, not to mention the autobiographical Being Geniuses Together…and on and on.
Borderline madness (Bryher et al)
Berenice Abbott | portraits (James Joyce, Djuna Barnes, Robert McAlmon, Sylvia Beach)
Strange Flowers guide to Berlin: part 3 (Djuna Barnes, Robert McAlmon)
Dada Baroness, Strange Flowers guide to Berlin, part 2 and 4, I am such miserable thing (Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven)
To the very dregs (Peter Warlock)
Dress-down Friday: Djuna Barnes, Djuna 40/80/120 (Djuna Barnes/John Glassco)
“A huge old baby vulture”, Dress-down Friday: Edith Sitwell, Edith speaks (Edith Sitwell)
Witch’s Cradle (Peggy Guggenheim)