and her subsequent love triangles with white men, we might also observe the rejected manuscripts resemblance to the plot of Wharton's Twilight Sleep.
Nella Larsen, a bibliophile who enjoyed reading in her "best green crepe de chine pyjamas, fresh flowers on the bed side table, piles of freshly covered pillows and [her] nicest bed cover" (Larsen 1926a)--a ritual that resonates with Edith Wharton's custom of writing in bed "dressed in a pink silk sacque with a matching bed cap" and propped up by pillows--obviously curled up with more than a few books by the author of Twilight Sleep (Joslin 2012, 217).
As this essay was going to print, Melanie Dawson brought to my attention further evidence of Larsen's engagement with Twilight Sleep.
In Twilight Sleep, the orientalized spiritual leader the "Mahatma," referred to as "the nigger chap," runs an ashram that is depicted as a type of harem where debutantes trailing translucent veils appear to have been exposed dancing "naked" in newspaper photographs.
Faulkner would have known that Wharton's reference in Twilight Sleep to a cinematic project entitled "Herodias" was to a particular film: the famed 1923 production of Wilde's Salome, nominally directed by Charles Bryant who is said to have taken his direction from Alla Nazimov (the leading lady who was his openly lesbian wife) and Natacha Rambova (author of the screen play and in charge of art direction and costumes who was Rudolf Valentino's wife).
Most notably, the boudoir of the aspiring Salome of Twilight Sleep is newly decorated in all black.
The sinister atmosphere of the traditional gloomy Gothic building is thus rendered in comic vein, as are the many other potentially Gothic elements in Twilight Sleep.
Throughout her notes, as the novel is plotted, 'Manford' and 'Manfred' alternate; although in the final published version she opts for the former, it is clear that The Castle of Otranto is in her mind as she works out the detail of Twilight Sleep.
Tommy Ardwin functions in Twilight Sleep as Jack Stepney does in The House of Mirth: both are gatekeepers who bring to upper-class New York various othered individuals.
In 1925, two years before Wharton completed Twilight Sleep, Kip filed an annulment suit to end his brief marriage to Alice Jones.
In Twilight Sleep, narrative choices emphasize the subjectivity of interpretation and the resulting distance between characters--points the reader will miss if he or she fails to do some work.
In Twilight Sleep, the relationship of marriage, itself dependent on communication, falters and fails.