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Barnes, Djuna.

LETTERS: 2 TLS to her publisher.


To Her Publisher
Barnes, Djuna. Typed Letter to her Publisher; December 7, 1971.
Together with:
Barnes, Djuna. Typed Letter Draft; December 6, 1971; both annotated.  
Four pp.; four leaves of onionskin; one leaf blind stamped with Barnes' Patchin Place address at the top edge; staple holes in corners.
On December 6, Barnes began a draft of a letter to her publisher Peter F. du Sautoy at Faber in London, regarding a renewed German contract for Nightwood; she is responding to his letter to her from December 1. She edits this draft by hand, and puts a single red ink stroke through both pages, noting on the second page, "not sent," and on page one in black ink, "Copy." Barnes rewrites the letter the next day, making significant changes in wording, but maintaining the same message present in the earlier draft; she also edits this letter by hand, and writes, "copy" at the top left corner. Both of these copies were retained by Barnes and are therefore unsigned.
In rather disjointed prose - perhaps due to her frustration regarding these details - Barnes requests correspondence documenting a transfer of publishing rights of her books from the Neske and Surhkamp Verlag publishers in Germany.  She is dissatisfied with the offer of a five percent royalty for the first three thousand sales of the new German edition of Nightwood - "Both Surhkamp and Neske, years ago, before Nightwood was famous, began at seven and a half %" - and concerned that the new German edition was published without a contract. She refuses to sign a contract for this edition of Nightwood, saying that she prefers to wait to sign contracts for other new editions of her books, including Ryder, Antiphon, Spillway and Ladies Almanack: "We all three know that Nightwood was what Dr. Unseld really wanted. Therefore all contracts for everything must now be signed together." In closing, she laments, "I am exhausted with all these matters."
Surhkamp Verlag was founded in 1950, and Sigfried Unseld began working there in 1952. By 1957 he was made a partial owner, and became head publisher in 1959; he headed the house until his death in 2002.
A late letter, written during Barnes's long, legendary hibernation in Greenwich Village during the
last decades of her life.

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