Paris: Contact Editions, Three Mountains Press, 1925. First edition. Quarto in contemporary quarter black morocco; spine slightly toned; corners gently rubbed. Uncut and largely unopened after page 60. Original printed wrappers bound in. A Fine Copy of this scarce modernist work, with the ownership signature of literary critic and Stein supporter William Troy.
As a patron of the arts, Stein used the Paris home she shared with partner Alice B. Toklas to foster the talents of avant-garde artists from Pablo Picasso to T.S. Eliot. In her own writing, Stein pushed against the Victorian literary boundaries of the preceding period, and in publishing The Making of Americans she solidified her legacy as an icon of modernism and the matriarch of the Lost Generation. “Her ambition [was] a literary plasticity divorced from narrative sequence and consequence and hence from literary meaning. She was trying to transform literature from a temporal into a purely spatial art, to use words for their own sake alone" (Schorer). By defying expectations surrounding narrative plot and character, The Making of Americans succeeds in this, and it has been praised as “resolutely American and indisputably original” (Grolier Club). This copy bears the penciled ownership inscription of William Troy, dated "N.H. 1926." An academic and critic, Troy was teaching in New Hampshire following his graduation from Yale in 1925. He later married poet Léonie Adams, a fixture in Stein’s Paris salon. Troy notably defended Stein's work against the sort of ridicule that her irregular prose tended to attract, writing of her later book The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas: "among books of literary reminiscences Miss Stein's is one of the richest, wittiest, and most irreverent ever written." It would appear, however, that he did not finish the present work, as the pages remain unopened after page 60.
One of only 500 copies published, 100 of which were used to make the 1926 first American edition (Wilson A6). Grolier Club Emerging Voices: American Women Writers. (Item #1950)