Friday, October 12, 2007

Toklas Letters for my Birthday. . .

I've always been intrigued by the early 20th century. I remember photos taken when my grandmother was a child...the black and whites...women with large bird-hats...cinched waists. A few decades later the sack dresses and bobbed hair. Always a bright smear of lips.
The crowd that gathered at Gertrude and Alice's salon....Picasso...Hemingway...the puffed egos that flocked to Paris. I image the talk...I'm sure much of it would have me running. I think it is the visual aspect of the time that I find so interesting...not the reality......

A few years ago Paul found a series of letters ...written by Alice B Toklas. She wrote them late in life...after Gertrude had died. Alice was fading...her eyesight diminished...she wrote a few very sad letters. Gertrude's relatives had come to Alice's flat and removed many of the paintings..."to lend them to a museum" was a sad realization that much of what she had cared for in her lifetime was drifting away.
It is a wonderful hold and reflect....feel the life pass through my hands.....
Once again....Paul found just the right way to my heart!

Recently there has been a book published about the lives of Gertrude Stein and her devoted mate Alice B is based on many letters and documents, it's a shame I didn't know that the book was being written, I would have been happy to share the letters with the author.

I've included the NY Times review of the book...Two Lives. (see below)

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