Gertrude Stein: In Words and Pictures / Edition 1

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"After an astonishing, playful essay, the book opens into a revelatory combination of quotes, quips and 360 photos of Stein and her wildly brilliant circle."--Elle

This photobiography pictures the woman called the "Mother and Muse of Modernism" and a touchstone for Americans in Paris' literary and artistic realms. Stendhal offers over 350 images of Stein, her companion Alice B. Toklas, and the many famous faces who surrounded her. Throughout, this book includes passages from Stein's published and unpublished works, letters, and memoirs of friends.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It is perhaps apt that a woman best known for such aphorisms as ``a rose is a rose is a rose'' should be rendered in them. Stendahl has constructed a ``photo-biography'' of the ``Mother of Modernism''-360 photographs, 100 of which have never before been published, are interspersed with timelines and excerpts culled from Stein's works and letters, and the words of others, including Hemingway and Harold Acton. The chapters of interest to most readers will be those focusing on the Paris years, when Stein opened her house at 27, rue des Fleurus to Fauvist and Cubist painters (Picasso, Gris and Picabia, among others) and later to the American writers of the ``Lost Generation.'' Here are Cecil Beaton and Man Ray's photographic portraits of Stein and her studio, including the throne-like chair in which she presided over her Saturday night salons, and the enviable view from the desk at which she wrote her novel Three Lives: it faced a wall upon which hung Matisse's Le Bonheur de Vivre and Czanne's Portrait de Mme. Czanne. Though there are some redundancies, Stendahl has put together an impressive book on an impressive woman, about whom she rightly observes, ``In the context of [today's] performance art and new forms of writing, Stein's work seems less and less alien. If we were to see her today... dressed in her army coat and leopard hat, how seamlessly she would fit into the contemporary artists' scene.'' (Oct.)
Library Journal
This pictorial biography of Stein, originally published in Switzerland in 1989, contains 360 photographs (100 previously unpublished) depicting Stein and Alice B. Toklas, their artist and writer cohorts, and views of relevant locales. Stendhal provides an undemanding introduction, with biographical and literary information as well as some interesting thoughts on reading and understanding Stein. A fairly detailed chronology prefaces each chapter, and each photograph has an applicable quotation extracted from the work of Stein and others. In assembling this work, Stendhal has drawn heavily on Everybody's Autobiography and the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas as well as diaries and writings by family members and peers. Snapped by the likes of Man Ray, Cecil Beaton, and Carl Van Vechten, the images visually document an unconventional and photogenic life and, even without the quotations, have power of their own. Recommended for literature, art history, and women's studies collections.-Janice Braun, Hoover Inst. Lib., Stanford, Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780945575993
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 632,775
  • Product dimensions: 8.46 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Renate Stendhal, born and raised in Germany, is a writer, editor, and translator. She lived in Paris for twenty years as a cultural correspondent for German radio and press. She has translated into German the works of Gertrude Stein, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, and others, and she is the co-author (with Kim Chernin) of Sex and Other Sacred Games. She is a consultant in creativity and writing in Berkeley, California.
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