Janet Malcolm Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice

ISBN 13: 9780300143102

Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice

3.59 avg rating
( 591 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780300143102: Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

"How had the pair of elderly Jewish lesbians survived the Nazis?” Janet Malcolm asks at the beginning of this extraordinary work of literary biography and investigative journalism. The pair, of course, is Gertrude Stein, the modernist master “whose charm was as conspicuous as her fatness” and “thin, plain, tense, sour” Alice B. Toklas, the “worker bee” who ministered to Stein’s needs throughout their forty-year expatriate “marriage.” As Malcolm pursues the truth of the couple’s charmed life in a village in Vichy France, her subject becomes the larger question of biographical truth. “The instability of human knowledge is one of our few certainties,” she writes. 

The portrait of the legendary couple that emerges from this work is unexpectedly charged. The two world wars Stein and Toklas  lived through together are paralleled by the private war that went on between them. This war, as Malcolm learned, sometimes flared into bitter combat.

Two Lives is also a work of literary criticism. “Even the most hermetic of [Stein’s] writings are works of submerged autobiography,” Malcolm writes. “The key of  'I' will not unlock the door to their meaning―you need a crowbar for that―but will sometimes admit you to a kind of anteroom of suggestion.” Whether unpacking the accessible Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, in which Stein “solves the koan of autobiography,” or wrestling with The Making of Americans, a masterwork of “magisterial disorder,” Malcolm is stunningly perceptive.

Praise for the author:

“[Janet Malcolm] is among the most intellectually provocative of authors . . .able to turn epiphanies of perception into explosions of insight.”―David Lehman, Boston Globe

“Not since Virginia Woolf has anyone thought so trenchantly about the strange art of biography.”―Christopher Benfey

 

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Author:

Q: How do you choose literary subjects? For instance, how did you get from Chekhov to Stein?
A: I stumble on most of my subjects. In the case of Stein, The New Yorker asked me to contribute to an issue on food, and I decided to write about The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book. In the course of rereading Toklas's chapter on her cooking in occupied France, I became curious about Stein and Toklas's wartime history. I wondered how they survived the Nazi occupation.

Q: How did you determine the circumstances of their survival?
A: I learned of a man named Bernard Faÿ, who was an influential figure in the Vichy regime, and who protected Stein and Toklas. I was alerted to his existence by the three Stein scholars--Ulla Dydo, Edward Burns, and Bill Rice--who function in the book as a kind of Greek Chorus.

Q: Did you enjoy your encounter with the Stein scholars as much as it seems?
A: I did indeed. My encounter with them was one of unmitigated pleasure. Their splendid generosity and beauty of character was without parallel. I have written about the problem of the journalist/subject encounter, but what I wrote doesn't have bearing on this encounter. Q: How problematic was it to parse Stein's famously difficult The Making of Americans?
A: As I wrote, I had to take a knife and hack the 950-page book into six sections in order to read it. Reading it was both an ordeal and one of the most interesting literary experiences of my life. There is nothing like it in literature. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but for anyone who is interested in Stein, it is a necessary work.

About the Author:

Janet Malcolm is the author of The Journalist and the Murderer, The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, and Reading Chekhov, among other books. She writes for The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books and lives in New York City.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Janet Malcolm
Published by YALE University Press
ISBN 10: 0300143109 ISBN 13: 9780300143102
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description YALE University Press. Condition: New. Brand New. Seller Inventory # 0300143109

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 8.77
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.60
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Janet Malcolm
Published by Yale University Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0300143109 ISBN 13: 9780300143102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How had the pair of elderly Jewish lesbians survived the Nazis? Janet Malcolm asks at the beginning of this extraordinary work of literary biography and investigative journalism. The pair, of course, is Gertrude Stein, the modernist master whose charm was as conspicuous as her fatness and thin, plain, tense, sour Alice B. Toklas, the worker bee who ministered to Stein s needs throughout their forty-year expatriate marriage. As Malcolm pursues the truth of the couple s charmed life in a village in Vichy France, her subject becomes the larger question of biographical truth. The instability of human knowledge is one of our few certainties, she writes. The portrait of the legendary couple that emerges from this work is unexpectedly charged. The two world wars Stein and Toklas lived through together are paralleled by the private war that went on between them. This war, as Malcolm learned, sometimes flared into bitter combat. Two Lives is also a work of literary criticism. Even the most hermetic of [Stein s] writings are works of submerged autobiography, Malcolm writes. The key of I will not unlock the door to their meaning-you need a crowbar for that-but will sometimes admit you to a kind of anteroom of suggestion. Whether unpacking the accessible Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, in which Stein solves the koan of autobiography, or wrestling with The Making of Americans, a masterwork of magisterial disorder, Malcolm is stunningly perceptive. Praise for the author: [Janet Malcolm] is among the most intellectually provocative of authors .able to turn epiphanies of perception into explosions of insight. -David Lehman, Boston Globe Not since Virginia Woolf has anyone thought so trenchantly about the strange art of biography. -Christopher Benfey. Seller Inventory # AAH9780300143102

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.39
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Janet Malcolm
Published by Yale University Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0300143109 ISBN 13: 9780300143102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How had the pair of elderly Jewish lesbians survived the Nazis? Janet Malcolm asks at the beginning of this extraordinary work of literary biography and investigative journalism. The pair, of course, is Gertrude Stein, the modernist master whose charm was as conspicuous as her fatness and thin, plain, tense, sour Alice B. Toklas, the worker bee who ministered to Stein s needs throughout their forty-year expatriate marriage. As Malcolm pursues the truth of the couple s charmed life in a village in Vichy France, her subject becomes the larger question of biographical truth. The instability of human knowledge is one of our few certainties, she writes. The portrait of the legendary couple that emerges from this work is unexpectedly charged. The two world wars Stein and Toklas lived through together are paralleled by the private war that went on between them. This war, as Malcolm learned, sometimes flared into bitter combat. Two Lives is also a work of literary criticism. Even the most hermetic of [Stein s] writings are works of submerged autobiography, Malcolm writes. The key of I will not unlock the door to their meaning-you need a crowbar for that-but will sometimes admit you to a kind of anteroom of suggestion. Whether unpacking the accessible Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, in which Stein solves the koan of autobiography, or wrestling with The Making of Americans, a masterwork of magisterial disorder, Malcolm is stunningly perceptive. Praise for the author: [Janet Malcolm] is among the most intellectually provocative of authors .able to turn epiphanies of perception into explosions of insight. -David Lehman, Boston Globe Not since Virginia Woolf has anyone thought so trenchantly about the strange art of biography. -Christopher Benfey. Seller Inventory # AAH9780300143102

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 13.81
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Janet Malcolm
Published by Yale University Press, United States (2010)
ISBN 10: 0300143109 ISBN 13: 9780300143102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. How had the pair of elderly Jewish lesbians survived the Nazis? Janet Malcolm asks at the beginning of this extraordinary work of literary biography and investigative journalism. The pair, of course, is Gertrude Stein, the modernist master whose charm was as conspicuous as her fatness and thin, plain, tense, sour Alice B. Toklas, the worker bee who ministered to Stein s needs throughout their forty-year expatriate marriage. As Malcolm pursues the truth of the couple s charmed life in a village in Vichy France, her subject becomes the larger question of biographical truth. The instability of human knowledge is one of our few certainties, she writes. The portrait of the legendary couple that emerges from this work is unexpectedly charged. The two world wars Stein and Toklas lived through together are paralleled by the private war that went on between them. This war, as Malcolm learned, sometimes flared into bitter combat. Two Lives is also a work of literary criticism. Even the most hermetic of [Stein s] writings are works of submerged autobiography, Malcolm writes. The key of I will not unlock the door to their meaning-you need a crowbar for that-but will sometimes admit you to a kind of anteroom of suggestion. Whether unpacking the accessible Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, in which Stein solves the koan of autobiography, or wrestling with The Making of Americans, a masterwork of magisterial disorder, Malcolm is stunningly perceptive. Praise for the author: [Janet Malcolm] is among the most intellectually provocative of authors .able to turn epiphanies of perception into explosions of insight. -David Lehman, Boston Globe Not since Virginia Woolf has anyone thought so trenchantly about the strange art of biography. -Christopher Benfey. Seller Inventory # BZV9780300143102

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 14.23
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Malcolm, Janet
ISBN 10: 0300143109 ISBN 13: 9780300143102
New Quantity Available: 6
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2008. PAP. Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IB-9780300143102

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 10.86
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Malcolm, Janet
Published by Yale University Press 9/1/2008 (2008)
ISBN 10: 0300143109 ISBN 13: 9780300143102
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press 9/1/2008, 2008. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New. Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9780300143102

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 16.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Malcolm, Janet
Published by Yale University Press (2008)
ISBN 10: 0300143109 ISBN 13: 9780300143102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # 0300143109

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.44
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Janet Malcolm
ISBN 10: 0300143109 ISBN 13: 9780300143102
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
ReadWhiz
(Portland, OR, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # ria9780300143102_ing

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.16
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Janet Malcolm
Published by Yale University Press
ISBN 10: 0300143109 ISBN 13: 9780300143102
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory # B9780300143102

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 10.21
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.72
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Janet Malcolm
Published by Yale University Press
ISBN 10: 0300143109 ISBN 13: 9780300143102
New Paperback Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Yale University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780300143102

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.96
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book