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Consists of three character studies of women; "The Good Anna"--a kind but domineering German servingwoman; "Melanctha"--an uneducated but sensitive black girl; "The Gentle Lena"--a pathetically feebleminded young German maid.From the Paperback edition.
A fascinating insight into the vibrant culture of Modernism, and the rich artistic world of Paris's Left Bank, Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas includes an introduction by Thomas Fensch in Penguin Modern Classics. For Gertrude Stein and her wife Alice B. Toklas, life in Paris was based upon the rue de Fleurus and the Saturday evenings and 'it was like a kaleidoscope slowly turning'. Picasso was there with 'his high whinnying Spanish giggle', as were Cezanne and Matisse, Hemingway and Fitzgerald. As Toklas put it - 'The geniuses came and talked to Gertrude Stein and the wives sat with me'. A light-hearted entertainment, this is in fact Gertrude Stein's own autobiography and a roll-call of all the extraordinary painters and writers she met between 1903 and 1932. Audacious, sardonic and characteristically self-confident, this is a definitive account by American in Paris. Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), a writer of experimental prose, is one of the original American Modernists. Born in Pennsylvania, she lived most of her life in Paris with her partner, Alice B. Toklas. Experimental books like Three Lives (1909), Tender Buttons (1914), and The Making of Americans (1925) established her reputation as an avant-garde stylist, and The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas made her an international celebrity. As an experimental writer she has been an inspiration to countless novelists and poets in our century, from Ernest Hemingway and Edith Sitwell in her own time to Jack Kerouac and Robert Duncan in ours. If you enjoyed The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, you might like Virginia Woolf's Orlando, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'Buttonholes the reader with its informality, its unhurried rhythms, deadpan humour and acerbic remarks'Frances Spalding, Sunday Times
Everybodys Autobiography is among the very best of Gertrudes writing--[it] speaks with the true and original voice of Gertrude Stein, without apparent art or bravado. --Janet Hobhouse~In 1937, Gertrude Stein wrote a sequel to The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, but this darker and more complex work was long misunderstood and neglected. An account of her experiences as a result of writing a bestseller, Everybodys Autobiography is as funny and engaging as The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, but it is also a searing meditation on the meaning of success and identity in America. Posing as the representative American, Stein transforms her story into history--responding to the tradition of Thoreau and Henry Adams, she writes: "I used to be fond of saying that America, which was supposed to be a land of success, was a land of failure. Most of the great men in America had a long life of early failure and a long life of later failure. " Everybodys Autobiography is Stein at her most accessible and her most serious, and may yet prove to be among her most popular books.
"First published in 1936 and long out of print, The Geographical History of America brings together prose pieces, dialogues, philosophical meditations, and playlets by one of the century's most influential experimental writers. This short but brilliant book offers a dimension of Gertrude Stein's thinking not available elsewhere. Here Stein sets forth her view of the human mind: what it is, how it works, and how it is different from - and more interesting than - human nature. " "Geographical History also elaborates on Stein's concepts of identity, landscape, presence, and composition. Today, as literary discourse pays more attention to textuality, to voice, reader-response, and phenomenology, Stein emerges as a pioneering modernist to whom the century is slowly catching up. For those in the performing arts, Geographical History further addresses the notion of play as landscape, one of Stein's most influential theatrical ideas, as well as such issues as dialogue, character, and dramatic structure - in a book that is itself a model of modern experimentation. "--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Geography and Playsis a collection of Gertrude Stein's writing from about 1908 to 1920. Originally published in 1922 with an introduction by Sherwood Anderson, it was almost inaccessible for many years. This edition makes it possible for students and other devotees of Stein to see the developing strategies of one of the acknowledged giants of literary modernism, whose pathbreaking departures in literary style have recently been assigned still greater importance in light of new theories about women's writing. An introduction by Cyrena N. Pondrom provides contemporary readers with a fine orientation to the importance of Stein's achievement in this early work.
This is the story of Ida, whose life consists mainly of resting, because she is always tired; of talking to herself; and of getting married, time after time.
Newly famous in the wake of the publication of her groundbreakingAutobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein delivered herNarrationlectures to packed audiences at the University of Chicago in 1935. Stein had not been back to her home country since departing for France in 1903, and her remarks reflect on the changes in American culture after thirty years abroad. In Stein's trademark experimental prose,Narrationreveals the legendary writer's thoughts about the energy and mobility of the American people, the effect of modernism on literary form, the nature of history and its recording, and the inventiveness of the English language--in particular, its American variant. Stein also discusses her ambivalence toward her own literary fame as well as the destabilizing effect that notoriety had on her daily life. Restored to print for a new generation of readers to discover, these vital lectures will delight students and scholars of modernism and twentieth-century literature. "Narrationis a treasure waiting to be rediscovered and to be pirated by jolly marauders of sparkling texts. "--Catharine Stimpson, NYU
Portraits and Prayers is a collection of early essays and word portraits by the American writer Gertrude Stein. Her subjects often provide a description of what she observed in her Saturday salons.
This collection, a retrospective exhibit of the work of a woman who created a unique place for herself in the world of letters, contains a sample of practically every period and every manner in Gertrude Stein's career. It includes The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas in its entirety; selected passages from The Making of Americans; "Melanctha" from Three Lives; portraits of the painters Cezanne, Matisse, and Picasso; Tender Buttons; the opera Four Saints in Three Acts; and poem, plays, lectures, articles, sketches, and a generous portion of her famous book on the Occupation of France, Wars I Have Seen.
First published in 1914, Gertrude Stein's revolutionary poetic work Tender Buttons is a must-read for every serious lover of literature. Delighting in the rhythm of words, its first section, "Objects," runs playful linguistic circles around teacups, ribbons, umbrellas, and other quotidian artifacts. Presented here in an exquisite small package, this new edition of "Objects" pairs Stein's avant-garde verse with colorful contemporary illustrations by indie art star Lisa Congdon, who illuminates and interrogates the classic Cubist text with visuals as capricious as Stein's own prose. A celebration of independent thinking old and new, this captivating marriage of image and text is a treasure of arts and letters.
First published in 1909, Three Lives marks the beginning of an era of bold experimentation with literary form and language that has continued throughout our century. In these three stories, Gertrude Stein put into practice certain theories about prose composition that paralleled the ideas expressed in the art of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters. Her characters strike the reader as living in a world determined by an aesthetic rather than a social order. The nonlinear narrative structure of 'The Good Anna', for example, was inspired by the works of Cézanne. Stein's friendship with Picasso encouraged her free expression of syntactical repetition to establish the mood and open sexuality of 'Melanctha'. And the influence of Matisse can be seen in 'The Gentle Lena', a bold psychological portrait of a woman, with a corresponding de-emphasis on plot and setting. Also included in this edition is Q.E.D. A frankly autobiographical story, conventional in form, it is in many ways an early version of 'Melanctha', and its inclusion here shows where Stein started and suggests how far she came on her own.
Three Lives is three portraits of women. "The Good Anna" describes a German house servant; "Melanctha" explores the love affair of an African-American woman; and "The Gentle Lena" narrates the fate of a patient German maid.
Three Lives Three short stories comprise Gertrude Stein's first significant work, each a psychological portrait of a different woman. "The Good Anna" is a kindly but domineering German servant. "The Gentle Lena" apathetically endures her miserable life until she dies in childbirth. "Melanctha" is a young Black woman learning about sexuality and love. Different as they may be, all three women are bound by poverty--and all three face the restrictions of class, race, and sex with resignation. Tender Buttons Stein spoke of maintaining a "continuous present," comprised of "moments of consciousness," independent of time and memory. Nowhere is this more clear than in her prose poems Tender Buttons. Their repetitive sentences, juxtaposition of sounds, and simple language connote this continuous presence. To live in this state is "to begin again and again," to "use everything." Each of the three sections, "Objects," "Food," and "Rooms," employs both this repetition and disjointed words to build images. Prose poetry at its most abstract expression, Tender Buttons "is to writing...what cubism is to art." (W.G. Rogers)
"Alphabets and names make games and everybody has a name and all the same they have in a way to have a birthday," muses Gertrude Stein in To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays. Written in 1940 and intended as a follow-up to her children's book The World Is Round, published the previous year, To Do is a fanciful journey through the alphabet. Each letter is represented by four names (including Gertrude for "G") and features a short story told in verse. "[This is] a birthday book I would have liked as a child," said Stein ofTo Do. Publishers rejected the manuscript as too complex for children, and it remained unpublished during Stein's lifetime. A text-only version issued from Yale University Press in 1957. Now, more than seventy years after Stein penned the story,To Dois appearing with illustrations, realizing the author's original concept for the book. Giselle Potter's witty and stylish illustrations provide a perfect complement to Stein's uniquely whimsical world of words, creating a truly delightful, often hilarious book that adults and children alike can appreciate and love.
Wars I Have Seen is the American writer Gertrude Stein's memoir of her experiences during the Second World War. Gertrude Stein was living in Europe during the time of the war.
Published to commemorate its 75th anniversary, The World Is Round brings back into print the classic story created by Gertrude Stein and Clement Hurd. Written in her unique prose style, Gertrude Steins The World Is Round chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Rose--a whimsical tale that delights in wordplay and sound while exploring the ideas of personal identity and individuality. This stunning volume replicates the original 1939 edition to a T, including all of Clement Hurds original blue-and-white art printed on the rose-pink paper that Stein insisted upon. Also featured here are two essays that provide an inside view to the making of the book. The first, a foreword by Clement Hurds son, author and illustrator Thacher Hurd, includes previously unpublished photographs and sheds light on a creative family life in Vermont, where his father and mother, author Edith Thacher Hurd, often collaborated on childrens books. The second essay, an afterword by Edith Thacher Hurd, takes readers behind the scenes of the making of The World Is Round, including the numerous letters exchanged between Hurd and Stein as well as images of Stein with the real-life Rose and her white poodle, Love.
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