Hard Cover. Paris: Contact Editions / Three Mountains Press, 1925. First Edition. Very Good.
First edition, one of 500 copies printed by Maurice Darantière in Dijon, of which 100 sets were sent to the US to be bound as the first American edition. Inscribed by Stein to front flyleaf: "For Miss Ethel Friedman / Gtde Stein". Bound in three-quarter maroon morocco and red boards, gilt spine with raised bands, top edge gilt, marbled endpapers, with the original tan wrappers bound in, half-title and colophon also present. Very good, with rubbing to leather at spine hinges and a few scratches to the spine, interior wrappers with toning and damp staining, some staining to endpapers and fore edge. Overall, an attractively rebound copy of the scarce first edition published in Paris, which is also inscribed by Stein. Gertrude Stein’s second novel The Making of Americans is an experimental work employing the modernist style. Stein traces the genealogy and history of the fictional Hersland and Dehning families, but by her own unique approach, she is able to tell a universal story. A literary Cubist, Stein experimented with sparse plot and dialogue, using repetition and a limited vocabulary. Drawing stylistic inspiration from painters Pablo Picasso and Paul Cézanne, Stein herself compared the work to James Joyce’s Ulysses. Written over a period of eight years in the early 20th century, during which Stein and her set were the arbiters of literature and art in Europe, the novel was not published until almost fifteen years after it was written.