Mary Butts

She drank with Hemingway at Les Deux Magots; Virgil Thompson courted her; among her best friends she counted H.D. and Bryher and corresponded at length with Charles Williams, but Virginia Woolf hated her perfume. She lived more outrageously than Jean Rhys and was considered a better writer than Katherine Mansfield. She was published in Ford Madox Ford's Transatlantic Review and Ezra Pound's Little Review; Robert McAlmon's Contact Editions issued her first novel. ... And yet, though hailed in her time for adventurous originality, because of her untimely death her greatest works have remained ôlostö for fifty years. Fortunately, the flame of Mary Butts (1890-1937) has been kept alive over time by Kenneth Rexroth, Virgil Thomson, Robert Duncan, John Ashbery, Kenneth Irby, Gerrit Lansing, Robert Kelly and many others.

Related Selections

  • Mary Butts: Scenes from the Life (C), a biography by Nathalie Blonde
  • A Sacred Quest: Essays on the Life and Writings of Mary Butts (C), edited by Christopher Wagstaff

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