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Useful Knowledge is pleasant and therefore it is very much to be enjoyed, writes Gertrude Stein in her Advertisement for this Book-an apt characterization of the experience of reading it sixty years after its disappearance from print. Despite her long expatriation, she always remained in her words, firmly born in Allegheny Pennsylvania. Indeed- physical detachment from her homeland seems only to have deepened her love for the country, a passion very nearly erotic, that blossomed in this private remembrance that is both tender and humorous. War, Woodrow Wilson, Chicago, Sherwood Anderson-such is the range of her intimate concerns. As for the significant questions to which her writings respond: Wherein Iowa differs from Kansas and Indiana and Wherein the South differs from the North, useful knowledge indeed, when the thought is opened along with the word in these extraordinary prose inventions. Keith Waldrop's introduction furnishes new insight into the process and development of Stein's infamous style as always more intricately evolving than is recognized. And Edward Burns provides useful knowledge about Useful Knowledge, the kind of information about Stein's text that we rarely find when we most want it

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book was first published in 1928, and most readers will find Stein's writings as difficult now as they did then. Here, as in much of Stein's work, America and Americans are never far from the author's heart: included are geographical essays, ``portraits'' of Woodrow Wilson and the Robesons, and tributes to Sherwood Anderson and Carl Van Vechten. While Stein's experiments influenced a number of major writers, including Ernest Hemingway, her fame rests more on her discovery of the ``Lost Generation'' and her position as arbiter of taste in her Paris salon. Still, this volume--available for the first time in 60 years--will be welcomed by Stein enthusiasts and may also attract a select group of new readers.-- William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581770766
  • Publisher: Barrytown/Station Hill Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/15/2001
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,503,115
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Born on February 3, 1874, in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, Gertude Stein was an imaginative, influential writer in the twentieth century. The daughter of a wealthy merchant, she spent her early years in Europe with her family. The Steins later settled in Oakland, California. She graduated from Radcliffe College in 1898 with a bachelor's degree. While at the college, Stein studied psychology under William James (and would remain greatly influenced by his ideas). She went on to study medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School.In 1903, Gertrude Stein moved to Paris to be with her brother, Leo, where they began collecting Postimpressionist paintings, thereby helping several leading artists such as Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. She and Leo established a famous literary and artistic salon at 27 rue de Fleurus. Leo moved to Florence, Italy, in 1912, taking many of the paintings with him. Gertrude remained in Paris with her assistant Alice B. Toklas, who she met in 1909. Toklas and Stein would

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Table of Contents

Introducing 1
1 Farragut or A Husband's Recompense 5
2 Wherein the South Differs from the North 19
3 Wherein Iowa Differs from Kansas and Indiana 38
4 The Difference Between the Inhabitants of France and the Inhabitants of the United States 43
5 Near East or Chicago 51
6 Among Negroes 60
7 Business in Baltimore 63
8 Scenes from the Door 78
9 Patriotic Leading 81
10 Are There Six 83
11 Three Leagues 84
12 Allen Tanner 86
13 Emily Chadbourne 88
14 Idem the Same: A Valentine to Sherwood Anderson 90
15 Van or Twenty Years After: A Second Portrait of Carl Van Vechten 95
16 Emmet Addis the Doughboy; A Pastoral 97
17 Woodrow Wilson 104
18 Or More (or War) 115
19 An Instant Answer or A Hundred Prominent Men 144
20 American Biography and Why Waste It 162
21 Lend a Hand or Four Religions 170
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