Djuna Barnes's great verse drama, written, in part, about her own family, was first published in 1958, and was last reprinted in her Selected Writings of 1962. Since that time the play has been out of print.
The play certainly is a strange one; even the author observes in her cautionary note to the volume that "a misreading of The Antiphon is not impossible"; and she herself described the work as a closet-drama. However, upon its original publication, Dag Hammarskjold translated this highly poetic and theatrical play into Swedish, and it was performed at the Royal Swedish Theater to mostly positive reviews. There have been few notable productions since then, but The Antiphon remains one of Barnes's highest poetic achievements, fitting comfortably alongside the great prose masterwork Nightwood.