Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas: A lesbian love story | Lesbian News
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was written in by Gertrude Stein in the guise of an autobiography authored by Alice B. Toklas, who was her lover. The revolutionary story of Gertrude Stein's life and relationships with legends such as . Gertrude Stein wrote this 'auto'-biography of her partner Alice B. Toklas. Occupying that special invisible area historically reserved for homosexual partnerships, Gertrude Stein's relationship with her “companion,”.
Gertrude was king, husband, hubbie, Mount fattie and fattuski. I am fondest of all of lifting belly Lifting belly is in bed And the bed has been made comfortable Lifting belly And aiming.
Exactly and making a cow come out. While Gertrude proffered sex in prose; Alice prepared suggestive dishes.
Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas: A lesbian love story
In the "Alice B. Toklas Cookbook," she writes, "In the menu, there should be a climax and a culmination. Come to it gently.
Alice's role was to play the midwife to Gertrude's genius, but she also stands as an argument for the idea that midwives, like housewives, are anything but incidental. To her, housekeeping for geniuses was an art in itself: I must say that you can not tell what a picture really is or what an object really is until you dust it every day and you can not tell what a book is until you type or proof read it.
It then does something to you that only reading can never do. Besides dusting the art, Alice spent quite a bit of time transposing art onto ordinary household objects. Dishes for artists were a frequent necessity at 27 rue de Fleurus, and a key element of the "Alice B.
Toklas Cookbook," Alice's collection of recipes and the stories behind them, published after Gertrude's death. A culinary work called bass for Picasso was poached in wine and butter, following the advice of Alice's aunt, who contended that a "fish, having lived its life in water, once caught, should have no further contact with the element in which it had been born and raised.
Alice B. Toklas (): Gertrude Stein’s lover | Svetlana Kitto
Picasso, though impressed by the beauty of the fish, said that it should have been made for Matisse, not for him. Nevertheless, he rewarded Alice's artistry with a needlepoint pattern, which she used to make tapestries for two Louis XVI chairs.
And of course Alice, in the classic role of an artist's lover, served as Gertrude's muse. But given that Gertrude's art was not of the classic genre, this could take the form of not-so-classic endeavors.
One guest remembers watching Gertrude instruct Alice to bat a -- what else? At some point, Gertrude suggested that Alice write an autobiography.
Her suggested titles illustrate her ideas about Alice's status in their relationship: Here she is, writing as "Alice": I am a pretty good housekeeper and a pretty good gardener and a pretty good needlewoman and a pretty good secretary and a pretty good vet for dogs and I have to do them all at once and I found it difficult to add being a pretty good author.
About six weeks ago Gertrude Stein said, it does not look to me as if you were ever going to write that autobiography.
- The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (Modern Library)
- Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
- Gertrude and Alice
You know what I am going to do. I am going to write it for you.the autobiography of alice b. toklas
I'm going to write it as simply as Dafoe did the autobiography of Robinson Crusoe. And she has and this is it.
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
For Gertrude to write the autobiography of Alice in Alice's "voice" could be construed as sheer hubris. And the novel, which begins with their first meeting and ends with Gertrude's decision to write the autobiography, certainly implies that Alice's life begins and ends with Gertrude.
But it is also a love poem of the deepest kind -- an attempt to literally become her lover. For what it's worth, friends who knew them both say that Gertrude faithfully reproduced Alice's verbal tics and quirks.
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Besides, there is evidence that Alice had quite a bit of power herself, albeit power of the sneakier, passive-aggressive variety. She served as Gertrude's amanuensis and editor. She typed all of Gertrude's manuscripts, making editorial suggestions, and -- since she made the astonishing claim that she read Gertrude's writing better than Gertrude -- perhaps rewrote entire passages. In the published version of the autobiography, "Alice" says about Gertrude's "The Making of Americans": It was over a thousand pages long.
It was over a thousand pages long and I loved every minute of it. He writes in "A Moveable Feast" about a conversation he overheard between the two women which took place shortly before he severed contact with the Stein-Toklas household. First, Alice was heard talking in menacing tones: Stein's voice came pleading and begging saying, "Don't pussy. I'll do anything pussy but please don't do it.
He says of Gertrude: Gertrude Stein was just seeing through the press Three Lives which she was having privately printed, and she was deep in The Making of Americans, her thousand page book.
Picasso had just finished his portrait of her which nobody at that time liked except the painter and the painted and which is now so famous, and he had just begun his strange complicated picture of three women, Matisse had just finished his Bonheur de Vivre, his first big composition which gave him the name of fauve or a zoo.
It was the moment Max Jacob has since called the heroic age of cubism. I remember not long ago hearing Picasso and Gertrude Stein talking about various things that had happened at the time, one of them said but all that could not have happened in that one year, oh said the other, my dear you forget we were young then and we did a great deal in a year.
There are a great many things to tell of what was happening then and what had happened before, which led up to then, but now I must describe what I saw when I came. Often when I was reading this book I felt as if I was listening to a confused storyteller, someone who just kept talking and talking and rambling and trying to convey a message, but that they themselves had forgotten what the message was.
There were some nice quotes and turns of phrase, such as: She always says that she is very grateful not to have been born of an intellectual family, she has a horror of what she calls intellectual people.
So, why would someone read this book? Maybe you would be brought to it, as I was, by the Woody Allen movie "Midnight in Paris," which had scenes that were inspired by this memoir.