Gertrude Stein is one of the biggest, boldest, baddest, most audacious of all modern cultural figures. Born in Pittsburgh in 1874, she died in 1946 while undergoing an operation for stomach cancer in the American Hospital in Paris. I began to study her almost by accident fifty years ago—I was spending a year at Yale on a postdoctoral fellowship, and the Stein papers were in the Beinecke Rare Book Library there. As I sat with those papers, her ghost compelled me; In 1977, I published my first essay on her (2). Before and after Stein’s death, her readers . . .
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