Current book: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Pages read: 140-253 (end)
Well, the end was more of the same, only lots of it happened during World War I. Aside from the inevitable dissolution of the salons during the war, it was very similar to the rest of the book, except that instead of living in Paris, they were living in the French countryside or in Spain. The close of the story consists of Gertrude Stein's success in publication and her urging Toklas to write her autobiography. Convinced that Toklas never will, then, Gertrude Stein commences to write it for her, which results in the book that the reader has just finished. (Change tense enough for you in there? I tried to keep it even, but I'm not sure it was possible. Oh, whatever. You didn't even notice.)
Despite its smugness and elitism, I still like it. It was just so lovely to be along for the ride with Matisse and Picasso and the Parisian art scene that I couldn't help myself. It doesn't make me like Tender Buttons or any of Stein's other post-modernist ridiculousness, but it makes me like her a lot more. I really appreciate the message that art and literature are worthy not because they must have deep messages, but because they impart beauty to the world. Stein often says in the book that sentences are worth considering in themselves simply because their structure can be complex and beautiful. I like that. I'm not sure I like some of the insane prose that came out of it, but as a concept, it's very attractive.
Also, in the middle of this last part, Stein and Toklas became friends with Ernest Hemingway and helped him along as he wrote In Our Time, which is the next book on the list. That was kind of a weird coincidence. Also, I was surprised at how much they liked him and his writing, what with all the misogyny.
A Clockwork Orange (5) A Good Man Is Hard to Find (4) A Passage to India (6) A Room with a View (3) A Separate Peace (2) Absalom Absalom (6) Achebe (5) Adams (3) All the King's Men (8) An American Tragedy (17) Atlas Shrugged (16) Babbitt (8) back from hiatus (1) baking (11) Baldwin (4) Baum (3) Bonfire of the Vanities (6) borderline (12) Brideshead Revisited (9) Burgess (5) Burroughs (1) canon (1) Capote (6) Cat's Cradle (3) Cather (19) cheesecake (4) Chopin (4) Conrad (5) cooking (25) Death Comes for the Archbishop (6) DeLillo (6) Dreiser (17) du Maurier (2) Edith Wharton (1) emergency (2) Ethan Frome (1) excuses (141) Faulkner (9) Felicia DeSmith (3) Finnegan's Wake (1) Fitzgerald (24) For Whom the Bell Tolls (3) Forster (19) Fowles (7) Franny and Zooey (2) Go Tell It on the Mountain (4) Grahame (2) Guest post (3) Hammett (2) Hemingway (5) hiatus (4) holiday (5) horrible (4) Howards End (6) In Cold Blood (6) In Our Time (1) Irving (6) James (25) Jazz (1) Joyce (1) Keneally (7) Kerouac (5) Kim (7) Kipling (7) Knowles (2) Lady Chatterly's Lover (6) Lawrence (26) Lewis (13) Light in August (3) London (3) Look Homeward Angel (9) Lord Jim (5) Mailer (7) Main Street (5) Midnight's Children (9) Miller (6) Morrison (1) Mrs. Dalloway (3) My Antonia (6) not a novel (4) O Pioneers (7) O'Connor (4) On the Road (5) Orlando (4) other books (7) page updates (1) Rabbit Run (4) Rand (24) Rebecca (2) recap (1) Rhys (6) Rushdie (18) Salinger (2) Schindler's List (7) Sinclair (6) Sons And Lovers (12) Sophie's Choice (10) Star Trek (1) Stein (5) Styron (10) Tender is the Night (10) The Age of Innocence (4) The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (5) The Awakening (4) The Beautiful and the Damned (8) The Bostonians (9) The Call of the Wild (3) The Fellowship of the Ring (5) The Fountainhead (8) The French Lieutenant's Woman (7) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2) The Jungle (6) The Lord of the Rings (16) The Maltese Falcon (2) The Naked and the Dead (7) The Naked Lunch (1) The Old Man and the Sea (1) The Portrait of a Lady (10) The Return of the King (6) The Satanic Verses (9) The Two Towers (5) The War of the Worlds (4) The Wind in the Willows (2) The Wings of the Dove (6) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (3) The World According to Garp (6) Things Fall Apart (6) This Side of Paradise (6) Thomas Wolfe (9) To the Lighthouse (3) Tolkien (16) Tom Wolfe (6) Triv (2) Tropic of Cancer (6) unworthy (33) Updike (4) vacation (2) Vonnegut (3) Warren (8) Waugh (9) Wells (4) Wharton (4) Where Angels Fear to Tread (4) White Noise (6) Wide Sargasso Sea (6) Women In Love (8) Woolf (10) worthy (25)