The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
by Gertrude Stein
Editor: Penguin Books Ltd
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A fascinating insight into the dynamic culture of modernity, and the rich in the artistic world of the Left Bank of Paris, Gertrude Stein The Autobiography of Alice BToklas includes an introduction by Thomas Fensch in Penguin Modern Classics.For Gertrude Stein and his wife, Alice BToklas, life in Paris was based on rue de Fleurus and on Saturday night and the “it was like a kaleidoscope turning slowly”.Picasso was there, with his high Spanish neighing laughter”, as were Cézanne and Matisse, Hemingway and Fitzgerald.Like Toklas, it’s -‘ geniuses came and talked to Gertrude Stein and the women sat with me’.A light entertainment, it is actually Gertrude Stein’s own autobiography and a nominal appeal of all the extraordinary painters and writers she met between 1903 and 1932.Daring, sardonic and characteristic of self-confidence, it is a final account by the Americans in Paris.Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), an experimental prose writer, is one of the earliest Modernist Americans.Born in Pennsylvania, she lived most of her life in Paris with her partner Alice BToklasExperimental books such as Trois Vies (1909), les Boutons d’ appel d’ Offres (1914), Les Américains (1925) established its reputation as a avant-garde fashion designer, and L’ Autobiographie by Alice BToklas makes her an international celebrityExperimental writer, she was a source of inspiration to many novelists and poets of our century, from Ernest Hemingway and Edith Sitwell in her own time to Jack Kerouac and Robert Duncan in ours.If you liked Alice B’s AutobiographyToklas, you could, like Virginia Woolf, Orlando, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.Frances Spalding, The Sunday Times’ The Buttonholes the reader with his simplicity, his calm rhythms, humorless tweezers and acerbic remarks’ Frances Spalding, The Sunday Times
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