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Written in 1932 at the house that Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas had rented in the Rhone Valley, Stanzas in Meditation is one of Stein's most abstract and complex works. It is almost as if Stanzas was conceived as a mirror opposite of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, penned in the same year. The latter, written in a more direct and normative language, brought Stein international acclaim and resulted in the attention she received from 1934 on, while the former remained unavailable until its publication, after her death, in 1956. To Stein readers and admirers, however, this is one of her most important works, a poetic achievement central to her canon. From John Ashbery's groundbreaking essay-review of Stanzas in 1957 to Richard Bridgman's 1970 publication, Gertrude Stein in Pieces, poets and critics have recognized the importance of this masterpiece.