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Barnes, Djuna.

TYPESCRIPT: Corrected Typescript of ten short stories for Spillway


Corrected Typescript for Spillway
Barnes, Djuna. Spillway. Original corrected typescript; ca. 1962.
One hundred eighteen onion skin typescript leaves (save "Cassation," which is typed on heavier stock); ten stories, each fastened with a paper clip, some rust stains; one leaf wrinkled; original brown mailing envelope. In a specially made quarter-morocco slipcase.
Barnes's corrected typescripts of ten short stories, which became Spillway, published by Faber in 1962:
"The Grande Malade"
"A Night Among the Horses"
"Aller et Retour"
"The Valet"
"The Rabbit"
"The Doctors"
"A Boy Asks a Question"
"The Passion"
and "Spillway."
Together with the original brown envelope addressed to her editor at Faber, Peter du Sautoy.
An early draft: on the table of contents leaf, composed on paper matching the typescript stories, she has typed, "Ten Short Stories / (Suggested title SPILLWAY). (Not necessarily in this order.)" On a second table of contents leaf, slightly shorter and narrower, she has changed the order of the stories, numbered them in type, and added at the top of the page more definitively, "Spillway."
Each story has a cover page indicating its title in caps, followed by the phrase, "A Short Story/by/Djuna Barnes." Barnes also includes her name and address on the top right side of the first page of each story, numbers all her pages on the top right corners, and includes the titles on the top left side of every leaf of every story; she separates each line with double-spaces. All of the stories contain her red ink emendations throughout.
Barnes includes a typed note on the cover page of "The Grande Malade," explaining that this story is "Somewhat corrected form the story first published as 'The Little Girl Continues' that first appeared in 'Contact' then Americans Abroad, an anthology edited by Peter Neagoe at the Servire Press, The Hague (Holland) 1932." The words, "'Contact' then" are written in blue ink in Barnes's hand; she also includes a bracket and indicates, "Note for editor" in red ink.
The nature and extent of Barnes's emendations vary, but her rhetorical agenda, on the whole, serves to tighten language throughout: she changes or omits words and phrases, changes the position of words, and edits punctuation. While there are several emendations throughout each story, they call for relatively minor changes. Barnes's edits indicate she prefers the omission of words, rather than the addition of them; she'll often take out a longer phrase in favor of a shorter one. The last line of "The Rabbit" originally read, "'Come,' she said in a fluster. 'Before you tell me anything let's shine your boots!'" She's emended it to read, "'Come' she said tartly. 'At least shine your boots!'" Also, "A Boy Asks a Question," was originally titled "A Boy Asks a Question of a Lady," but Barnes crossed out the last three words on the cover page and the first page of the story. There are several word deletions on page four of this story as well. In "Cassation," by contrast, Barnes has added a lengthy phrase; on page eight, she crosses out, "in that case," and inserts the phrase, "that one should be a little like all people & oneself too, then"; in the same line, she substitutes the word "awful" with "merciful." "The Valet" also has significant emendations - fifty words have been inserted throughout the typescript - several of which appear on page one, like changing the phrase "pretending that he understood the proper length in hook and back, the shape of the withers and the neck," to read, "pretending that he understood the proper beast, from muzzle to hoof."
In addition to "The Grande Malade" and "Cassation," some of the other stories here were published earlier: "A Night Among the Horses," "Aller et Retour" and "The Passion," all appeared in 1929, in a book titled, A Night Among the Horses. "A Boy Asks a Question," though appearing here, was rejected from inclusion in Selected Works, which was published in 1961. Barnes heavily edited the versions of the stories in Spillway from their original forms.
Spillway was the penultimate book Barnes published before her death twenty years later, in 1982; the only other original book of stories that was published after this was Vagaries Malicieux: Two Stories (1974). After publishing Nightwood in 1937, Barnes essentially dropped off the literary map. She left Paris and moved to New York City - as her address indicates on each story here, she moved to 5 Patchin Place - where she lived until her death. It has been noted that "[h]er withdrawal from the literary world caused her reputation to pale. And Barnes's refusal to allow much of her earlier work for magazines to be reprinted kept the scope of her achievement unknown" (Djuna Barnes: Contemporary Authors Online). Since her death, however, her works, especially Nightwood, have been continually reprinted.
A unique and insightful collection of manuscript material, the likes of which are rarely seen in commerce.
Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2007. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2007.

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