The recipe book for foodies, practical cooks and gossips alike. The legendary Alice B. Toklas Cookbook is a collection of some of the brightest ideas for preparing delicious meals as well as a rich mine of stories about the best-known artists and writers living in mid-twentieth-century France.
Long before Julia Child discovered French cooking, Alice B. Toklas was sampling local dishes, collecting recipes, and cooking for the writers, artists, and expats who lived in Paris between the wars. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Wilder, Matisse, and Picasso shared meals at the home she kept with Gertrude Stein, who famously memorialized her in The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book, however, is her true memoir: a collection of traditional French recipes that predates Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Toklas supplies familiar recipes such as coq au vin, bouillabaisse, and boeuf bourguignon, along with what is perhaps the earliest instructions for haschich fudge (“which anyone could whip up on a rainy day"), and she entertains with fascinating memories of Paris—Toklas' home for most of her life—and of rural France, Spain, and America.
In this original and intriguing study, Anna Linzie examines three mid-twentieth-century texts never before treated as interrelated in a book-length work of literary criticism: Gertrude Stein's The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933) and Alice B. Toklas's The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book (1954) and What Is Remembered (1963). Taking these three texts as intertexts or as an assemblage of the true story of Alice B. Toklas, Linzie challenges assumptions about primary authorship and singular identity that have continued to limit lesbian and feminist rereadings of autobiography as a genre and of Stein and Toklas as writers and historical figures.The True Story of Alice B. Toklas explores how the concept of autobiography as a primarily referential genre is challenged and transformed in relation to autobiographical texts written about the same person, the same life, but differently, by different writers, at different points in time. The concept of one true story is deconstructed in the process as Linzie modifies Homi K. Bhabha's “almost the same but not quite/not white” for the purposes of this particular study as “almost the same but not quite/not straight.” The investigation moves simultaneously on the planes of textuality and sexuality in order to provisionally articulate a “lesbian autobiographical subject” in Linzie's reading of these three texts.Linzie's study fills a gap in literary criticism where Stein's companion and her work have been more or less neglected, conceptualizing the Stein-Toklas sexual/textual relationship as fundamentally reciprocal. The True Story of Alice B. Toklas provides a new critical perspective on Toklas as indispensable to Stein's literary production, a cultural laborer in her own right, and a writer of her own books. Making a significant contribution to recent lesbian/feminist reconceptualizations of the genre of autobiography, this study will fascinate Stein and Toklas scholars as well as those interested in queer and autobiography studies.
In this memoir-turned-cookbook, Alice B. Toklas describes her life with partner Gertrude Stein and their famed Paris salon, which entertained the great avant-garde and literary figures of their day. With dry wit and characteristic understatement Toklas ponders the ethics of killing a carp in her kitchen before stuffing it with chestnuts; decorating a fish to amuse Picasso at lunch; and travelling across France during the First World War in an old delivery truck, gathering local recipes along the way. She includes a friend's playful recipe for 'Haschiche Fudge', which promises 'brilliant storms of laughter and ecstatic reveries', much like her book.
The Innovative Appetites of M.F.K. Fisher, Alice B. Toklas, and Elizabeth David
Author: Alice McLean
Category: Literary Criticism
This book explores the aesthetic pleasures of eating and writing in the lives of M. F. K. Fisher (1908-1992), Alice B. Toklas (1877-1967), and Elizabeth David (1913-1992). Growing up during a time when women's food writing was largely limited to the domestic cookbook, which helped to codify the guidelines of middle class domesticity, Fisher, Toklas, and David claimed the pleasures of gastronomy previously reserved for men. Articulating a language through which female desire is artfully and publicly sated, Fisher, Toklas, and David expanded women’s food writing beyond the domestic realm by pioneering forms of self-expression that celebrate female appetite for pleasure and for culinary adventure. In so doing, they illuminate the power of genre-bending food writing to transgress and reconfigure conventional gender ideologies. For these women, food encouraged a sensory engagement with their environment and a physical receptivity toward pleasure that engendered their creative aesthetic.
How modernist women writers used biographical writing to resist their exclusion from literary history It’s impossible, now, to think of modernism without thinking about gender, sexuality, and the diverse movers and shakers of the early twentieth century. But this was not always so. The Passion Projects examines biographical projects that modernist women writers undertook to resist the exclusion of their friends, colleagues, lovers, and companions from literary history. Many of these works were vibrant efforts of modernist countermemory and counterhistory that became casualties in a midcentury battle for literary legitimacy, but that now add a new dimension to our appreciation of such figures as Radclyffe Hall, Gertrude Stein, Hope Mirrlees, and Sylvia Beach, among many others. Melanie Micir explores an extensive body of material, including Sylvia Townsend Warner’s carefullly annotated letters to her partner Valentine Ackland, Djuna Barnes’s fragmented drafts about the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Margaret Anderson’s collection of modernist artifacts, and Virginia Woolf’s joke biography of her friend and lover Vita Sackville-West, the novel Orlando. Whether published in encoded desire or squirreled away in intimate archives, these “passion projects” recorded life then in order to summon an audience now, and stand as important predecessors of queer and feminist recovery projects that have shaped the contemporary understanding of the field. Arguing for the importance of biography, The Passion Projects shows how women turned to this genre in the early twentieth century to preserve their lives and communities for future generations to discover.
The multimedia artist, poet and novelist Brion Gysin may be the most influential cultural figure of the twentieth century that most people have never heard of.Gysin (1916–1986) was an English-born, Canadian-raised, naturalized American of Swiss descent, who lived most of his life in Morocco and France. He went everywhere when the going was good. He dabbled with surrealism in Paris in the 1930s, lived in the “interzone” of Tangier in the 1950s and traveled the Algerian Sahara with Sheltering Sky author Paul Bowles before moving into the legendary Beat Hotel in Paris. Gysin’s ideas influenced generations of artists, musicians and writers, among them David Bowie, Keith Haring, Patti Smith, Michael Stipe, Genesis P-Orridge, John Giorno and Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. None was touched more profoundly than William S. Burroughs, who said admiringly of Gysin: “There was something dangerous about what he was doing. ”It was Gysin who introduced the Rolling Stones to the exotica of Morocco and took Stones’ guitarist Brian Jones to Jajouka where he recorded the tribal musicians performing the Pipes of Pan. It was Gysin who provided the hashish fudge recipe published in Alice B. Toklas’ cookbook, promising “ecstatic reveries and extensions of one’s personality on several simultaneous planes.” It was Gysin who introduced Burroughs to an automatic writing method called the cut-up, a literary progenitor to sampling. And it was Gysin who developed—with Ian Sommerville, the Dream Machine—a device that allowed people, with the flick of a switch, to access altered states of consciousness without drugs.Working with the authorization of Gysin’s literary executor, William S. Burroughs, John Geiger has produced the first-ever biography of the painter, poet, piper Brion Gysin.