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The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Paperback – March 17, 1990
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-- Donald Sutherland
"... The record of nearly thirty years of life in a fantastically changing Paris and else where -- a life passed in the most stimulating and important society."
-- Louis Bromfield
"... One of the richest, wittiest, and most irreverent [biographies] ever written."
-- William Troy
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Top Customer Reviews
The result was an incredibly idiosyncratic body of work in which Stein tended to use language for the sake of language. Often described as stream of conciousness, Stein's work tends to divide readers and critics. Some greatly admire Stein; an equal number consider her a non-talent with a gift for self-promotion. Whatever the case, her writings proved unexpectedly influential in "high art" circles.
Stein, a lesbian, met Alice B. Toklas about 1907, and the two remained a couple until Stein's death. Those who knew Toklas through Stein's numerous social events describe her as a small, ordinary woman with a tendency to fade into the background; in a world made up of artists and their wives, Stein played the role of artist and Toklas played wife.
Published in 1933, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B. TOKLAS is often described as Stein's "most widely accessible" work. That is true only in the sense that Stein generally writes in a linear style and without the obvious word-games to which she was prone; the book is not typical of her work in either respect. On the other hand, it is extremely typical of Stein in terms of concept.Read more ›
Thankfully, I eventually saw the light. It finally clicked.
Gertrude Stein was a woman in the time of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, Matisse, Ezra Pound and T.S.Eliot. Quite simply she needed to stand out as a literary figure. Historians would later call this artistic time period the Roarin' Twenties. Stein needed a way to disconnect with other prominent figures and still remain in the literary circle. She did this by well executing this book.
Though seemingly told through the perspective of her partner Alice B. Toklas, truly we are hearing Stein's. Her memories of meeting fascinating artists and writers in Paris are mind boggling. She adores the Parisian culture but also loves to be an American. Stein is very clever with how she formulates sentences in this book. She remarks on more than one occasion her obsession with the English language. Specifically the use of sounds. She begins to - paint - a novel with her words. Like the artist Picasso, who she is most fascinated with, her novel begins to paint a sort of cubist realism. There is no fluff here. And despite the very limited way she describes characters we eventually begin to see a full picture of them through Toklas/Stein's written words. Her words in way merge words, ideas, sounds, and create art.
We also see how certain artists inspire other artists.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wanted to give this book one star, but didn't want it to reflect on Stein's writing. The Kindle edition that I purchased has no punctuation. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Herladyship
What fascinating lives they lived, what wonderful friends they had, what is sweet and tender relationship mixed with beautiful paintings, fascinating conversations, and of course... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Morgen Salas
Anyone who has been asked that popular question,"If you could have dinner with anyone throughout history, who would you choose?" should read this book. Read morePublished 9 months ago by mbondsart
Don't know why it took me so long to purchase this book. I'm loving it!Published 9 months ago by Cindy
Gertrude Stein actually wrote this book as if she were Alice, who was her partner. It tells mainly about two topics, related to their lives in early 20th century Paris: their... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Keith G. Bernard
Although it has a reputation as a difficult read, in academia, I enjoyed the novel. As I read, it took me into a time warp, with her style of writing. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Angel Ybarra
I had heard of this book for many years and finally read it for a book group. It is really more about Gertrude Stein than Alice Toklas. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Zerlindatar