Was Djuna Barnes’ Novel, Nightwood, Named By T.S. Eliot?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to poetry and poets and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of all poetry legends featured so far.

POETRY URBAN LEGEND: The famed poet T.S. Eliot came up with the name for Djuna Barnes’ classic novel, Nightwood.

Thomas Stearns (T.S.) Eliot is one of the most acclaimed and well known poets of pretty much any century, but certainly the 20th Century.

Born in 1888, by the time Eliot became part of the English publishing firm of Faber and Gwyer (later Faber and Faber) in 1925 he had already written most of the works of poetry that people would regard as his “classic” works, including The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Wasteland.

Eliot would work at Faber and Faber for the rest of his life. Perhaps the most important piece of work he did at that company was to aid in the publishing of Djuna Barnes’ classic novel, Nightwood.


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