FOUR IN AMERICA
This book will create keen interest because it is the last-and-posthumous-work of Gertrude Stein. A brilliant introduction by Thornton Wilder who accomplishes the difficult feat of making clear what Miss Stein was laboring to express in her foggy and repetitious style, and to show that her aims were both extremely definite and interesting. In Four in America, she takes her favorite Americans,- Ulysses S. Grant, Wilbur Wright, George Washington, Henry James- and recreates them as if they had been a religious leader, a painter, a novelist, a military general, respectively. At first view the plan seems to furnish little more than-as Wilder says- a "parlor game". "One soon discovers a very earnest indeed. It asks about how creativity work in anyone, about the relations between personality and gifts, personality and genius. It asks another question: what is an American and what makes him different from citizen of any other country"...An important book because Miss Stein is an important figure in our literary scene. Important also because Wilder's introduction is one of the finest pieces of literary criticism, to be written in our decade. There's a Stein clique.