Editor Seth Perlow Discussing The Corrected Centennial Edition of Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein

The Modern Language Association’s Committee on Scholarly Editions just awarded Tender Buttons: The Corrected Centennial Edition its seal designating it an MLA Approved Edition. Congratulations to editor Seth Perlow!

Tender Buttons is the touchstone work of radical modernist poetry, the fullest realization of the turn to language and the most perfect realization of ‘wordness,’ where word and object are merged. For the centennial of this masterpiece, Seth Perlow has given us much the best edition of the poem, based on Stein’s manuscript and corrections she made to the first edition. Punctuation, spelling, format, and a few phrases are affected and most especially the change in the capitalization of the section titles. ‘The difference is spreading.'”—Charles Bernstein, University of Pennsylvania, author of Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions

“Happy 100th birthday, Tender Button. You are as explosive, tantalizing, and delicious as you were on the day you were born. Your birthday gift from Seth Perlow and Juliana Spahr is a beautiful new edition that will carry you into your next century, the best edition ever. Your birthday gift from all of us who love literature and culture is to buy this edition for ourselves and all our friends. Congratulations to all.”–Catharine R. Stimpson, Professor, New York University, and co-editor of the two-volume Gertrude Stein: Writings published by the Library of America

“The publication of an authoritative edition of Tender Buttons, with Stein’s hitherto unpublished corrections and editions, is a splendid way to celebrate the centennial of this influential modernist work. Scholars will benefit from the full documentation, and readers will appreciate its convenient format, which resembles the original publication.”—Jonathan Culler, Cornell University

“This radical multi-dimensional generative cubist text with the simplest words imaginable continues to alter and shape poetics into the post post modernist future. We have Gertrude Stein’s ‘mind grammar’ operating at full tilt, with unpredictability, wit and sensory prevarication. Look to the ‘minutest particulars,’ Blake admonished, and here she does just that: ‘it is a winning cake.’ Salvos to the editor and salient ‘afterword’ that give belletristic notes and political perspective as well. A unique edition.”—Anne Waldman, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics

Seth Perlow is an Assistant Professor of English at Oklahoma State University. His research and teaching focus on twentieth-century American literature, poetry and poetics, new media studies, and gay and lesbian literature. He earned a PhD in English at Cornell University.