RARE 1917 Bruno's Magazine w/Djuna Barnes Cover

RARE 1917 Bruno's Magazine w/Djuna Barnes Cover


Exceedingly Rare Issue of Bruno’s Magazine, ca. 1917

Bruno’s was one of a handful of weekly magazines self-published by Guido Bruno, covering the ins-and-outs of Bohemian life in Greenwich Village during the early part of the 20th century.

This particular issue includes an illustrated spread on art galleries, a piece by George Bernard Shaw on “Going to Church,” and another penned by the publisher himself on…the sexuality of musical instruments. Bohemian, indeed! The cover art is by enigmatic author and artist, Djuna Barnes. Overall, an incredible piece of Greenwich Village history.

Condition: Very good; some discoloration and creasing at the edges but the binding is solid and paper strong.

About Djuna Barnes: Barnes was a writer, journalist, artist and playwright known mostly for her association with the eclectic characters occupying Greenwich Village in the first quarter of the 20th century. Although her writings were long undervalued and largely forgotten, she has had a revival of sorts in recent years. Writer Bertha Harris once described her work as "practically the only available expression of lesbian culture we have in the modern western world" since Sappho. Barnes’ writing style is controversial and often defies convention. She was admired by the likes of Anais Nin and Dylan Thomas, and poet Edwin Muir compared her gifts to those of James Joyce.

About Guido Bruno: A Czech-born writer, playwright and rare book dealer, Bruno published his weekly zines from 1916 to 1922, mostly from his “garret on Washington Square” in Greenwich Village. Though his life story is fascinating in retrospect, he was at the time seen as a charlatan for charging uptown yuppies a quarter to watch the “artists in their natural environment” at his garret. This practice garnered him the moniker “Barnum of Bohemia.”

Part gossip rag, part literary mag, his publications did manage to introduce a handful of up-and-coming writers and artists like the aforementioned Barnes, as well as Clara Tice, Stanislaw Przybyszewski and Hart Crane. Barnes, despite being published by Bruno early in her career, was clearly not a fan. By 1936, she would use him as a model for an unflattering character in her most famous work, Nightwood.

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