102. Gertrude Stein liest

eBay prices for the album Gertrude Stein Reads Her Own Work range from $20 to $200. Vinyl purists, and Stein purists, may long for one of the still-sealed copies at the upper end of that range. The rest of us can enjoy hearing its recordings as mp3s, free on the internet courtesy of PennSound. These clips, recorded between 1934 and 1935 (which came out in album form in 1956) let you put yourself in the presence of the poet. Much of the work she reads aloud here comes inspired by observing other creative luminaries. The record’s producers included these homages along with a piece of an interview, variants of well-known poems such as “How She Bowed to Her Brother” (which often appears under the name “She Bowed to Her Brother”), and an excerpt from her novel The Making of Americans.

But to get straight into the textual substance, listen to “The Fifteenth of November… T.S. Eliot,” her portrait of her colleague in letters. / open culture

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