Gertrude Stein’s Hiccoughs

Published November 9, 2017 by Nan Mykel

During my 15-day vacation from this blog, I took several loads to the local Re-Use store. The hard part is coming home with less than I donate. On the bookshelf there I came across The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, and found a passage concerning a description of an incident in which Gertrude Stein had a spell of hiccoughs that were uncontrollable.  Upon learning of this situation, the old Italian cook  sadly returned to the kitchen, from which came a loud crash of breaking pottery.   The cook came running in, saying, “I was so upset because the signora had the hiccoughs that I broke the black plate that the signora so carefully brought from Rome.”  Gertrude Stein began to swear and the hiccoughs stopped. The cook then said, “Oh no I did not break the beautiful plate, I just made the noise of it and then I said I did it to make the signora stop hiccoughing.” (p 107)

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