"A LASTING TRIBUTE TO A UNIQUELY VIBRANT AND CREATIVE ERA": FIRST EDITION OF GERTRUDE STEIN'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B. TOKLAS, 1934, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKET
(STEIN, Gertrude). The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1934. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $3000.
First edition of Stein's mischievous "memoir of that exciting period when Cubism was being invented in paint and a new manner of writing was being patented in words" (Janet Flanner), with frontispiece after a photograph by Man Ray and 14 full-page illustrations, in scarce original dust jacket.
Stein "was at the cultural heart of Paris for more than four decades. She provided vital patronage for Matisse and Picasso… and the Saturday evening gatherings where she played hostess to those in the know have become legendary… Written in the form of an autobiography of Stein's life partner, the book is in actual fact her own memoir. But given the cast of characters, which range from Matisse, Picasso and Braque to Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound, it has proved a lasting tribute to a uniquely vibrant and creative era… Its enduring appeal and the importance of Stein herself is perhaps best summed up by the U.S. journalist Janet Flanner, who described it as 'a complete memoir of that exciting period when Cubism was being invented in paint and a new manner of writing being patented in words" (BBC). To literary critic Donald Sutherland, Autobiography "is full of the most lucid and shapely anecdotes, told in a purer and more closely fitting prose… than even Gide or Hemingway have ever commanded." First edition, first printing: with "First Edition" on the copyright page. Containing frontispiece showing Gertrude Stein at her desk and Toklas in the doorway, after a photograph by Man Ray, along with 14 full-page photographic illustrations and a facsimile page. Small bookseller ticket.
Book fine; light edge-wear to very scarce near-fine dust jacket.