This essay exploring the life lessons I have learned from a research library is included in my most recent book The Modern Salonnière. The 34 other…View More Life Lessons from a Research Library
Tag: Gertrude Stein
One of the most opinionated members of the Lost Generation was Gertrude Stein, her salon a popular destination for writers and artists living in Paris.
In the preface of Ernest Hemingway’s Complete Poems, the editor Nicholas Gerogiannis mentions that Hemingway was a disciple of Gertrude Stein’s in Paris during the 1920s; that she’d said of him, “…although Hemingway showed considerable talent, he did not yet understand the difficulty of writing well.” It always floors me to experience one writer talking about another in this vein, especially when the conversation references the work of a man as legendary as Hemingway. I found a spot of shade in a beautiful park so I could delve into the author’s poetry, staying for a good part of the afternoon.
During a trip to the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University last year, I reserved Edmund Wilson’s papers, one of the boxes containing letters Hemingway had written to the well-known editor. I almost laughed aloud in the hushed academic milieu when I read Hem giving it right back to Gertrude Stein: “Gertrude and I became good friends again before she died. She knew that I knew that the malice and some if not all of the lies in her book The Autobiography of A.T. came from Alice.” He claimed Toklas was the one with ambition, the one who was extremely jealous of Stein’s men and women friends.
“Gertrude was terribly lazy but she had finally discovered a way of writing that enabled her to write every day and thus have the sense of accomplishment,” he told Wilson. “But then came the necessity to have this prose, which sometimes was not much better than daily automatic writing, recognized officially.” Research like this helps me to compose informed diary entries here, a point of view I take quite seriously.
The Sensuous Delight of Place
Like Katherine Mansfield’s enigmatic stories, the book Place by Tara Bernerd feels like “a thread with a subtly woven texture embracing ecstatic feeling, sensuous delight.” The…View More The Sensuous Delight of Place
Earnest in Paris
This comparative look at Wes Anderson and Ernest Hemingway, Earnest in Paris, is a guest post by Miles Stephenson, a talented young writer whom I…View More Earnest in Paris
A Backward Glance on rue de Varenne
The narrow sidewalks push their black iron batons up out of the ground to protect the buildings hemming them; the rain turns the cobblestones to…View More A Backward Glance on rue de Varenne