Lectures In America
New York: Random House, 1935. Octavo. Textured cloth in a chipped and edgeworn wrapper, now cased in mylar. Grey top-stain to the text block. 246 pages. First edition. Near fine in a very good dust jacket.
Stein left Paris for America for a six-month lecture tour in 1934. Over the course of 191 days, she gave 74 lectures in 37 cities. At each venue, with a few exceptions, she would deliver one of six prepared lectures to an audience limited to 500. At her first lecture, attended by members of the Museum of Modern Art, and routinely thereafter, she entered the stage without introduction and read from her notes, delivered in the same style as her confounding prose. Then, she opened the floor to questions. For the most part, Stein’s audiences did not understand her lectures. Shortly into her tour, psychiatrists speculated that Stein suffered from palilalia, a speech disorder that causes patients to stutter over words or phrases. A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose . . .
"It will take her years to understand the things she's said tonight."