Have you ever wished that you could have a conversation with an encyclopedia on Gertrude Stein’s life and work? Someone who is an authority on her eccentric sense of style, automatic writing, her relationships to writers such as Joyce, Proust and Hemingway, and her conception of American time? Janet Hobhouse, who read almost everything written about and by the iconic literary figure, was exactly that encyclopedia. In 1976 she sat down for a conversation with Charles Ruas about her biography of Gertrude Stein--Everybody Who Was Anybody--which was published in 1971 when she was just 23 years old. In providing not just historical background, but also literary and psychological analysis of Stein in response to Ruas’s many questions, Hobhouse is the next best thing to actually speaking to Stein herself.
Janet Hobhouse was an American writer who lived in London and New York. Her short but prolific career ended abruptly at the age of 42 after losing a battle against ovarian cancer. Her two nonfiction works are Everybody Who Was Anybody: A Biography of Gertrude Stein and The Bride Stripped Bare, an analysis of the female form in art. She wrote four novels: Dancing in the Dark, Nellie Without Hugo, November, and The Furies, which was published posthumously.
This program is courtesy of the Pacifica Radio Archives.