Tender Buttons: Objects, Food, Rooms
New York: Claire Marie, 1914.
New York: Claire Marie, 1914. First Edition. Original yellow paper covered boards with green paste-on label to front cover. A Near Fine copy, with a bit of toning to spine but none of the damage or loss so typical of surviving copies. Bookplate to front pastedown; minor worming to fore-edge. In all, an exceptionally nice copy of this difficult to locate book, which is considered one of Stein's most important and innovative works.
"Published in 1914 in a small print run of 1,000, Tender Buttons is one of the great Modernist experiments in verse. Simultaneously considered to be a masterpiece of verbal Cubism, a modernist triumph, a spectacular failure, a collection of confusing gibberish, and an intentional hoax, the book is perhaps more often written about than actually read" (Poets). What is undeniable is that this piece of avante-garde writing manages to make the familiar unfamiliar, and that it opened the door to further linguistic and verbal experimentation that would happen in later works such as James Joyce's Ulysses. It is also an important cornerstone of modern queer literature, as its unorthodox consideration of the seemingly mundane physical world allowed Stein to explore objects, food, and spaces as metonyms of body parts, sexual expressions, and emotional ecstasies. Near Fine (Item #5513)