The following post is rated R ,”Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian!”
In the last few months there has been a controversy raging following the publishing of Barbara Will’s book Unlikely Collaboration: Gertrude Stein, Bernard Fay, and the Vichy Dilemma. In her book, Will delves into one of the aspects of Gertrude’s life that is recounted every few years in various books and articles: how did she and Alice as lesbian, American Jews survive in Nazi-occupied France during WWII? Gertrude’s close friendship with Fay, a Vichy government sympathizer, and his role in preventing GertrudeandAlice from being rounded up by the Nazis is not new information. However, it is Will’s contention that Stein too held strong pro-Vichy and pro-Nazi sentiments that has caused a firestorm in a large contingency of the Stein Fan Club.
But now there is a new, potential controversy brewing regarding my picture book Gertrude and Alice and Fritz and Tom.
The word “Pussy” is used four times in the book- pages 4, 13, 35, and 61 and is one of the many affectionate names GertrudeandAlice had for each other.
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It has often been said that as you get older time seems to pass more quickly, hence birthdays are here each year before we know it!
And today, once again Our Ms. Stein celebrates her 138th birthday. (Just imagine how quickly time must pass once you’ve reached 138?!)
The year past has been most eventful for Steiniacs around the globe and I’m already beginning to hear about new Stein events in the new year: theatrical productions, workshops and literary conferences. Just register with Google Alerts and enter “Gertrude Stein” if you’d like to be kept in the know. Also go to the “Quoting Gertrude Stein” link on the right, and Renate provides her Stein year in review.
The question of what to get for a 138 year old birthday “girl” would stump even the most gifted of personal shoppers. I’m sure she had/has it all. What more could one ask for than a roomful of Picassos and Matisses (and Alice) especially at today’s auction prices? It could put Facebook’s pending IPO to shame – and then maybe not!
So what I offer today as a gift to one and all is a drawing that Tom Hachtman did for me a number of years ago. I think it is very appropriate as it shows GertrudeandAlice at one of their favorite activities – eating.
"Birthday Crockery!" copyright 2001, Tom Hachtman
What the concoction in the Crockpot is…I’ll let you all use your imaginations. But whatever it is, everyone gathered around the table seems to be very pleased and happy! What more can we ask for on any birthday?
Life is too short. Time passes too quickly. Grab that Crockpot from the back shelf of the kitchen cabinet and concoct something that will make you happy too!
Happy Birthday, Gertrude Stein!