Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gertrude Stein

The press jumped at the novelty of young President [Robert] Hutchins acting as "Mr. Adler's straight man" in a course for freshmen. Visiting dignitaries often sat in on the class: actors Lillian Gish, Ethel Barrymore, and Orson Wells attended sessions, as did Eugene Meyer, publisher of the Washington Post, but none caused quite the stir that Gertrude Stein did in 1934. Skeptical of the entire endeavor to teach the Great Books (she insisted that the classics could not be understood when read in translation), Stein led a session on Homer's Odyssey. Alice B. Toklas remembered that Stein gave the students more freedom than Hutchins and Adler normally allowed, enabling the students to "formulate their own ideas." But, according to Adler, Stein abandoned the Socratic method and "harangued [the students] with extempore remarks about epic poetry which she thought up on the spot, but which none of us, including Gertrude, could understand, then or in the years to come." --Jay Satterfield, General Honors Comes to Chicago, The Great Ideas: The University of Chicago and the Ideal of Liberal Education; An Exhibition in the Department of Special Collections, The University of Chicago Library, May 1, 2002 - September 6, 2002

Husbands and Wives by Terry Castle, review of Don’t Kiss Me: The Art of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore edited by Louise Downie, and Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice by Janet Malcolm, London Review of Books, December 13, 2007

Review by McKay McFadden of Gertrude and Alice by Janet Malcolm, Bold Type, December 2007

Gertrude, Alice: The mystery of their 'marriage' by David Walton, review of Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice by Janet Malcolm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, September 2, 2007

Review by Richard J. Murphy of Gertrude Stein: The Language that Rises: 1923-1934 by Ulla E. Dydo with William Rice, and Irresistible Dictation: Gertrude Stein and the Correlations of Writing and Science by Steven Meyer, Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. XXIV, No. 1

The sense of Gertrude Stein review by Donald Lyons of the two-volume Gertrude Stein published by the Library of America, edited by Catharine R. Stimpson and Harriet Chessman, The New Criterion, May 1998

Tough buttons by Guy Davenport, review of A Stein Reader by Gertrude Stein, The New Criterion, November 1993

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