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Today’s obnoxious colleague or neurotic love unit could be fuel for tomorrow’s page-turner. That formula certainly worked for Djuna Barnes, Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence, and Leonard (Mr. Virginia) Woolf, all profiled in Louise DeSalvo‘s study of literary revenge, Conceived With Malice. Barnes, for example, “did not intend to immortalize [her former lover] Thelma Wood” in the novel Nightwood; instead, Barnes herself called the damning caricature “an eternally recurring murder.” Yet while it’s tempting to view authors’ petty motives with high-and-mighty glee, DeSalvo demonstrates some downsides of vengeance: It “always involves betrayal,” she writes, and Sir Francis Bacon considered it “a disguised form of self-abuse.” DeSalvo speaks to adherents of a meaner muse at 7 p.m. at Chapters, 1512 K St. NW. FREE. (202) 347-5495. (NodB)