2016年7月27日 星期三

Gertrude Stein, 1874-1946:《愛麗絲‧B‧托克勒斯的自傳》(The Autobiography of Alice B.Toklas)

Gertrude Stein is known for her trail-blazing modernist writing ("A rose is a rose is a rose"), but was also a keen patron of the arts. She championed the career of Picasso, and when she died—on July 27th 1946—she left the portrait he painted of her to the Met, as the image by which she wanted to be remembered

Gertrude Stein
美國文壇大師史坦因(Gertrude Stein)1933年出版的《愛麗絲‧B‧托克勒斯的自傳》(The Autobiography of Alice B.Toklas),即是她用同志愛人愛麗絲的角度,敘述自己在巴黎的生活。

美國女作家葛楚斯坦(Gertrude Stein, 1874-1946)1933年出版的《愛麗絲‧B‧托克勒斯的自傳》(The Autobiography of Alice B.Toklas)中寫到:當她在重度昏迷時曾一度甦醒過來,並詢問伴侶愛麗斯‧托克勒斯,「愛麗斯,愛麗 斯,答案是什麼?」伴侶回答:「沒有答案。」葛楚斯坦繼續說:「嗯,那問題是什麼?」說完這句話後便離開人世……

  • Gertrude Stein, Gradually Readings from Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Bee Time Vine, and more. Includes excerpts from Patriarchal Poetry.
《愛麗絲.B.托克勒斯的自傳》(The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas),葛楚.史坦(Gertrude Stein)


這是一位傳奇的女子,她有傳奇的一生,在她身邊也全都是傳奇人物。一九○三年,家境富裕的葛楚.史坦(Gertrude Stein),自約翰霍普金斯醫學院逃到巴黎投靠她哥哥。喜歡藝術與文學的史坦,立即成為那些尚未成名的偉大畫家的贊助者,畢卡索、馬蒂斯等人都曾是她的 食客……她並開始買畫,第一幅就是馬蒂斯的《戴帽子的女人》。

單是有錢並不足製造傳奇,葛楚.史坦的立體派散文詩集《柔軟鈕扣》(Tender buttons,1914),讓她成為二十世紀上半葉美國文學史不能不提的人物,許多美國人都慕名來拜訪這位傳說中的「達達之母」(Mama of Dada)。她曾對海明威說:「你們是失落的一代(lost generation)。」於是該詞就成為海明威第一部長篇小說《旭日依舊東昇》(The Sun Also Rises)的扉頁題詞。

一九三三年出版的《愛麗絲.B.托克勒斯的自傳》(The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas),實際上是以史坦的女友愛麗絲(Alice B. Toklas)的虛構視角,來描繪她自己在巴黎三十年來見聞的軼事與社交生活。本書在當年即是暢銷書,近年亦入選藍燈書局的二十世紀百大英文非小說,《愛麗絲.B.托克勒斯的自傳》不僅是同性戀文學的經典,也是一個傳奇時代的傳奇紀錄。

畢卡索於一九○六年所繪的巨幅葛楚.史坦肖像中,坐在文藝復興大椅上的她簡直就是女王。史坦於一九四七年過世之後,終身伴侶愛麗絲曾於一九五四年出版過一本《愛麗絲.B.托克勒斯食譜》(The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook),將她款待藝術家饕客的祕訣分享大眾,我們才算在觥杯交錯的宴席間聽到一點點愛麗絲真正的聲音。

Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946


Alice B. Toklas, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1949

Before I came to Paris

Alice B. Toklas, as narrator of the work, says she was born into an affluent family in San Francisco. Later she met Gertrude Stein's mother during the San Francisco fires and finally decided to move to Paris in 1907.

My Arrival in Paris

Alice talks about the important role of Helene, Gertrude's housemaid, in their household in Paris. She mentions preparations for an art exhibition. She discusses Picasso and his mistress Fernande. The couple break up and Fernande moves to Montparnasse to teach French. Alice and Gertrude visit her there.

Gertrude Stein in Paris, 1903-1907

Alice tells of Gertrude and her brother Leo Stein buying paintings by Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse from Ambroise Vollard. They subsequently all become friends. She next discusses spending the summer with Gertrude in Fiesole while Picasso goes to Spain. Back in France, Gertrude falls out with Guillaume Apollinaire. Later, Picasso has an argument with Matisse.

Gertrude Stein before she came to Paris

Alice tells how Gertrude Stein was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, then moved to Vienna, Passy, and finally New York City and California. She attended Radcliffe College, where she was taught by William James. She decided to study for a Master's degree at Johns Hopkins University but dropped out because she was bored, then moved to London and was bored there too, returned to America, and eventually settled in Paris.


Alice tells stories about Matisse, Apollinaire, and many other Cubist artists. She recounts holidays in Italy and Spain with Gertrude. Finally, they move to England on the eve of the First World War to meet with Gertrude's editor, leaving Mildred Aldrich alone in Paris.

The War

Gertrude and Alice begin the war years in England, then go briefly to France to rescue Gertrude's writings. They then live in Spain for a while and eventually move back to France. There, they do volunteer work for the American Fund for the French Wounded driving around France to help the wounded and homeless. By the end of the war, Paris seems changed.

After the War, 1919-1932

Alice tells of Gertrude's argument with T. S. Eliot after he finds one of her writings inappropriate. She talks about her friendship with Sherwood Anderson and Ernest Hemingway, who helped with the publication of The Making of Americans. They the couple make friends with a coterie of Russian artists, but they constitute no artistic movement. Later, Gertrude gives a lecture at Oxford University. Alice then mentions more parties with artists. Later, they abridge The Making of Americans to four hundred pages for commercial reasons and devise the idea of authoring an autobiography.

Literary significance and criticism

Gertrude Stein admitted to writing the work in six weeks with an end to making money.[1] However, she did not like writing it for that particular reason, and Alice didn't think it would be a success.[2]
It was the first of her writings to be published in the Atlantic Monthly, much to her joy. The magazine published sixty per cent of the novel, in four installments.[3]
As to her friends, Carl Van Vechten liked it. Henry McBride thought it was too commercial. Ernest Hemingway called it a 'damned pitiful book'. Henri Matisse was offended by the descriptions of his wife. Georges Braque thought Stein had misconstrued Cubism. Leo Stein deemed it a farrago of lies.[4]
The commercial success that came with this book enabled Stein to live a more prosperous lifestyle.[5]
According to Virgil Thomson, who wrote music to libretti authored by Stein, the "book is in every way except actual authorship Alice Toklas's book; it reflects her mind, her language, her private view of Gertrude, also her unique narrative powers. Every story in it is told as Alice herself had always told it....Every story that ever came into the house eventually got told in Alice's way, and this was its definitive version.".[6]


  1. ^ Diana Souhami, Gertrude and Alice: Gertrude Stein and Alice B.Toklas, Rivers Oram Press/Pandora List, 20 Feb 1992, 187
  2. ^ Diana Souhami, Gertrude and Alice: Gertrude Stein and Alice B.Toklas, Rivers Oram Press/Pandora List, 20 Feb 1992, 189
  3. ^ Diana Souhami, Gertrude and Alice: Gertrude Stein and Alice B.Toklas, Rivers Oram Press/Pandora List, 20 Feb 1992, 190-191
  4. ^ Diana Souhami, Gertrude and Alice: Gertrude Stein and Alice B.Toklas, Rivers Oram Press/Pandora List, 20 Feb 1992, 192-194
  5. ^ Diana Souhami, Gertrude and Alice: Gertrude Stein and Alice B.Toklas, Rivers Oram Press/Pandora List, 20 Feb 1992, 195
  6. ^ Virgil Thomson, 'A Portrait of Gertrude Stein', An Autobiography of Virgil Thomson, 176-177