Djuna Barnes came from a very eccentric family. Do any aspects of her subject matter or style reflect this background?
Like a number of other talented young writers, Barnes seemed to be trying to shock her readers. To what pitfalls is such an approach liable?
Barnes applied a demanding technique—stream of consciousness—to the explication of characters who are themselves unconventional and difficult to fathom. Was she expecting too much of her readers, or might they regard these difficulties as a compliment?
Barnes’s work is called “an important example of lesbian writing.” Explain who you think can profit most from her writing: gays or straight people?
Was Barnes “ahead of her time” in the 1920’s or 1930’s, or more attuned to her time than her critics?