Amazons in space

Barney

You may have missed this vital piece of astronomical news over the holiday season: a crater on the planet Mercury has been named for Left Bank lesbohemian legend Natalie Clifford Barney. She joins such honourees as Truman Capote and Erich Maria Remarque (extra points if you can trace those two back to La Barney; Six Degrees of Natalie Clifford Barney really is the game that never ends).

Further research into Mercurial craters reveals that the planet’s frigid depressions have previously been named for all sorts of interesting and creative people, including Alvin Ailey, Lord Byron, Italo Calvino, Salvador Dalí, Gustave Flaubert, Pablo Neruda, Marcel Proust, Rainer Maria Rilke, Walt Whitman, W. B. Yeats and just about every major composer. As that list suggests it’s also a complete sausage fest, so Barney makes a welcome addition.

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