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ACLS New Faculty Fellow Susannah Hollister publishes 'Stanzas in Meditation: The Corrected Edition,' and receives New York Times review

Posted: January 31, 2012
Susannah Hollister with the Gertrude Stein statue in Bryant Park

Susannah Hollister with the Gertrude Stein statue in Bryant Park

The Department of English congratulates American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow Susannah Hollister on the publication of Gertrude Stein's Stanzas in Meditation: The Corrected Edition.

From Yale University Press

In the 1950s, Yale University Press published a number of Gertrude Stein's posthumous works, among them her incomparable Stanzas in Meditation. Since that time, scholars have discovered that Stein's poem exists in several versions: a manuscript that Stein wrote and two typescripts that her partner Alice B. Toklas prepared. Toklas’s work on the second typescript changed the poem when, enraged upon detecting in it references to a former lover, she not only adjusted the typescript but insisted that Stein make revisions in the original manuscript.

This edition of Stanzas in Meditation is the first to confront the complicated story of its composition and revision. Through meticulous archival work, the editors present a reliable reading text of Stein's original manuscript, as well as an appendix with the textual variants among the poem's several versions. This record of Stein's multi-layered revisions enables readers to engage more fully with the author's radically experimental poem and also to detect the literary impact of Stein's relationship with Toklas. The editors’ preface and poet Joan Retallack’s introduction offer insight into the complexities of reading Stein's poetry and the innovative modes of reading that her works require and generate. Students and admirers of Stein will welcome this illuminating new contribution to Stein’s oeuvre.

Stanzas in Meditation: The Corrected Edition was featured in the New York Times Sunday Book Review.

Susannah Hollister is American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow in the Department of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She co-edited with Emily Setina Gertrude Stein’s Stanzas in Meditation: The Corrected Edition (Yale, 2012), which received the MLA's Committee on Scholarly Editions Seal. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Contemporary Literature, Twentieth-Century Literature, and Chicago Review.

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