Studies in DescriptionFront Cover

ISBN: 9780889229617 | paperback / softback

$18.95 | 408 pages | Pub. Date: 2016
7.5 W × 5.5 H × 1 D inches
Non-Fiction | Backlist | Bisac: LIT014000
ISBN 13: 9780889229617 | Rights: WORLD

Studies in Description
Reading Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons
By Carl Peters

Difficult writing has its way of illuminating the part of the world that counts. One such difficult text is Gertrude Stein’s highly experimental Tender Buttons: objects, food, rooms – long considered the single most groundbreaking literary work of twentieth-century art, literary criticism, and art history. One hundred years since publication, Carl Peters offers a sustained reading of the 1914 edition, responding to the eccentric sounds and rhythms of this long prose-poem with annotations that bring understanding, in particular, to the composition’s syntax, which is noted for its defiance of conventional norms; for example:

ROAST POTATOES.
Roast potatoes for.
[Annotation]  Grounded! Such annotations demonstrate that an apprehension of Stein’s whole art comes from the project and praxis of reading the work literally, actually. “Read her with her for less,” she asserts. “Translate more than translate the authority.”

In Studies in Description: Reading Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons, Peters demonstrates ways in which Stein’s thought questions everything, underlining reasons that her work has long served as the wellspring for generations of experimental poets, inspiring Language movement poets such as bill bissett, bpNichol, and George Bowering, and novelists such as William Gass, Sherwood Anderson, and Ernest Hemingway.

The Modernist work Tender Buttons can be used to show how in the early twentieth century Stein and others helped us discover a different world in our midst, a moment of the Modern.

“carl peters book on gertrude stein / is an essenshul n deep undrstanding / uv th work uv sumwun who displayd / n creatid enerjeez that shapd sew / manee langwage arts that undrstood / n went byond or outside uv th objek /”
—bill bissett

"Studies in Description is the midrashic feast that Tender Buttons has always promised. Stein’s wordness has never been better served.” – Charles Bernstein

By Carl Peters

Carl Peters has published two previous literary analyses of poetics and avant-garde art. He edited a major collection of bp Nichol‘s comics from 1960 to 1980, published as bpNichol Comics (2002). textual vishyuns (2011), his critical study of bill bissett’s poetry and visual art, analyzes this Canadian poet’s contributions to modernist thought and vision. Peters is currently embarked on a study of modernist cinema, specifically the works and praxis of French New Wave film director Jean-Luc Godard.

Read more about Carl Peters


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news | 2017-01-04
This weekend: Carl Peters at the MLA Convention in Pennsylvania

…coming weekend. Carl Peters, lately the author of Studies in Description, will speak in session #615, “Hemingway and …


news | 2016-07-20
Tomorrow! Carl Peters talks Gertrude Stein at People’s Co-op Books, Vancouver

…conversation and reading from his new book Studies in Description , Dr. Carl Peters will give a close reading of … His most recent book-length critical work is Studies in Description, an annotated study of Gertrude Stein’s Tender …


news | 2016-07-14
Tonight in New York City, the Poets House Poetry Publication Showcase opens New York City

…Collected Earlier Poems, 1962–1991 by Fred Wah, Studies in Description by Carl Peters, th book by bill bissett, and …


news | 2016-05-11
Listen: Full audio recording of our recent Vancouver launch

…is introduced at minute 4:45 and then reads from Studies in Description. Clint Burnham is introduced at minute 13:40 and …


news | 2016-04-27
Photos from our big launch last night

…at a few photos below. Carl Peters reads from Studies in Description: Reading Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons – first …


news | 2016-04-26
Two quadruple book launches this week!

…In Vancouver, Carl Peters will also launch Studies in Description. Join us at either launch, and celebrate National …


news | 2016-04-21
Annotating Gertrude Stein, a century later

…arrival of Dr. Peters’s much-anticipated work, Studies in Description: Reading Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons! Order … your copy of Studies in Description today for $24.95, and come hear excerpts from …


news | 2014-07-23
Our Fall 2014 Lineup!

…Gertrude Stein’s classic, Tender Buttons, in Studies in Description ($18.95). The Fall 2014 Talonbooks catalogue is …