Welcome Fellow Logan Esdale

January 23, 2015

By Nancy Kuhl

The Yale Collection of American Literature is delighted to welcome Edith and Richard French Research Fellow Logan Esdale to the Beinecke Library to conduct research related to his book-length project, “Gertrude Stein in Letters.” This project will address Stein’s use of letters for her early fiction, her play with epistolary form mid-career and her use of the epistolary mode in later 1930s as she tried to regulate public access to her private life.

The letter’s importance to Stein was highlighted a few years after her death by Alice Toklas, who commented to a friend that “[f]rom the point of view of Gertrude’s democracy an important person was a person who held your attention and there were mighty few who didnt hold hers and so all letters passionately interested her.” From Stein’s use of the letter in writing her fiction, poems, plays and memoirs, to saving her correspondence and making it central to her Yale archive, even to her putting “Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” on letterhead and a sealing-wax stamp, or using the epistolary phrase “when this you see remember me” in various texts, the letter was a fundamental resource as her career evolved.

Professor Esdale has published a workshop edition of Stein’s Ida A Novel (Yale UP, 2012) and he is currently co-editing, with Deborah Mix, “Approaches to Teaching the Works of Gertrude Stein” (MLA, 2016), a collection of essays that describes how to teach a wide range of Stein texts.