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Synopsis: Off and on, during the entire period they were together, Gertrude and Alice wrote each other little love notes. Calling her "wifey" and most often addressing her as "baby precious," Stein scribbled her love for Toklas in quick moments of unselfconscious desire, notes that are small but significant testimonies to her long-lived love. And on occasion, Toklas penned or typed letters back to her "husband."
These notes are brief, mantra-like enticements: tender, beseeching, caring and confessing, funny and game, sexually-charged and sincere, quotidian and queer, but always passionate. Each one marks the pleasures--infrequently, the pains--of married love. When fitted together, the notes create a tantalizing mosaic of a marriage between two women that was built to last.
Review: Baby Precious Always Shines, a delightful selection from the 300 love notes that Alice B. Toklas accidentally deposited with the rest of Gertrude Stein's papers in the Beinecke Library at Yale, would not have been possible before the 1980s, when the locked cabinet in which they were kept was finally opened to scholars. In her excellent introduction, Kay Turner (whose other books include I Dream of Madonna: Women's Dreams of the Goddess of Pop) explains that with their baby talk and constant blessings, the notes provide "a tantalizing mosaic of a marriage between two women that was built to last." Composed in the "word-inverted, long-breathed, rolling, repetitive, refluent style that Stein invented," they touch on everyday events in the Stein-Toklas household and reiterate Stein's love and desire for Toklas. Many seem to have been left for Toklas to find in the morning beside the manuscripts that Stein had written during the night. A few were written by Toklas to Stein. Turner also offers a convincing new reading of Stein's famously obscure "cows" (in A Book Concluding with As a Wife Has a Cow: A Love Story and elsewhere), previously thought to signify female orgasm; she argues that Stein and Toklas subscribed to the "cult of regularity" that swept Europe in the first decades of the 20th century. Indeed, the love notes, despite their Steinian verbal play, leave little doubt that the recurring cows, "now sweet smelly and complete," are bowel movements--further evidence, for Turner, of the women's extraordinary intimacy, their love "express[ing] itself daily in the rituals of bodily caretaking."
Title: Baby Precious Always Shines: Selected Love ...
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 1999
Book Condition: Good
Edition: 1st - may be Reissue.
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1999. Condition: Good. 1st. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP2569304
Book Description St. Martin's Press. Hardcover. Condition: Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G0312198329I3N00
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1999. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 0312198329-2-4
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: GOOD. Has little wear to the cover and pages. Contains some markings such as highlighting and writing. Seller Inventory # 0312198329_abe_gd
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0312198329
Book Description St. Martin's Press. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. 0312198329 Hardcover Copy- has wear to the cover and edges- Ships in 1 business day from my GA location!. Seller Inventory # SKU000060506
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: VERY GOOD. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # 0312198329_abe_vg
Book Description St. Martin's Press, 1999. Condition: UsedAcceptable. book. Seller Inventory # M0312198329_4
Book Description St. Martin's Press, New York, 1999. Hardcover. 8vo. Very good+ in very good, lightly edgeworn, dustjacket, Seller Inventory # 053050
Book Description St. Martin's Press. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. 0312198329 Like new in like new dust jacket. Dust jacket different than pictured. Same ISBN. Seller Inventory # SKU1023542