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3.44  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  6 reviews
"DESTROY," H.D. had pencilled across the title page of this autobiographical novel. Although the manuscript survived, it has remained unpublished since its completion in the 1920s. Regarded by many as one of the major poets of the modernist period, H.D. created in Asphodel a remarkable and readable experimental prose text, which in its manipulation of technique and voice c ...more
Paperback, 215 pages
Published August 13th 1992 by Duke University Press Books (first published August 13th 1961)
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Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Written in 1921-22 and not published until after H.D's death, this is a shockingly experimental work for its time, and an important text to be added to our understanding of Modernism. We move between POV in mid sentence, fracture and condense thought and experience, and explore issues of female subjectivity and homosocial/homosexual desire. It is a "difficult" work, as speech is often not indicated, nor are speakers, and we move within streams of consciousness without warning. But as readers of ...more
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1001
Reading this book felt like walking through a dream. The style is stream-of-consciousness, which honestly usually annoys me to no end. Here, though... it's compelling and beautiful and readable and it drew me in. Flowers and Greek mythology abound in this book. And the colors- so many colors!

This is an autobiographical story by HD of her time living in Europe before, during and after WWI. She was contemporaries with artists and writers of the time and some of them feature in her story. I was ver
Jonathan Norton
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
H.D's fictionalisation of her life from about 1912-1920, continuing with the same cast of masked figures introduced in “HERmione” but now augmented with further characters from London and Paris. Most important to remember about this text is that it was not intended for wide circulation, at least not in this form; the surviving manuscript was marked “DESTROY” and its author was not available when it was finally edited for publication. What we have is more like a personal diary or meditation on ex ...more
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Reading over the blurb for this novel, I'm not sure that the writer really had a good think about what the term "readable" means. To me, it means something that runs along and is kind of average difficulty wise. I'm not saying I'm totally disagreeing with the term readable in the case of this book, because it is exactly that... readable. It at least makes sense half the time.

This isn't a book to be casually picked up and put down. This book demands attention, it demands time and it demands a wh
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
I am struggling to actually write what Asphodel is about. Honestly though it feels like doing that is a useless exercise. There is a plot but this is a ‘textured’ novel. Anyway here goes :

Hermione is an American who is now living in Paris. Us readers get an insight to her views of European culture and relationships with both men and women, then the same thing happens again except in London.

The thing is Asphodel is more about sights and sound being brought out repetition of certain words, certai
To have (or to have not) an alternative (non-normative) sexual/artistic space. Is it possible to separate sexual (dominance/dominating/male/Ezra Pound) and artistic relationships at the turn of the century? What to do about pregnancy when you're a female artist? No answers here; only more questions.
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An innovative modernist writer, Hilda Doolittle (1886–1961) wrote under her initials in a career that stretched from 1909 to 1961. Although she is most well known for her poetry—lyric and epic—H.D. also wrote novels, memoirs, short stories, essays, reviews, a children’s book, and translations. An American woman who lived her adult life abroad, H.D. was engaged in the formalist experimentation that ...more
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“I mean seeing the Elgin marbles this morning gave me the same feeling and I didn’t know, don’t know whether I’m in Rome or Paris. I mean the Louvre and the British Museum hold one together, keep one from going to bits.” 6 likes
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