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Brussels Sprouts

In response to:

Tender Buttons from the July 1, 1971 issue

To the Editors:

As one who sat rather ardently, in my salad days, at the feet of that great woman, Gertrude Stein, I have followed with some fascination the correspondence in your pages about various aspects of her life and work, particularly Tender Buttons [Letters, July 1 and October 7, 1971].

…Has anyone pointed out that “Tender Buttons” was a common name for the vegetable Brussels sprouts in the days when Gertrude and Alice were growing up?

Gertrude explained this to me herself many years ago when I was visiting at her place near Bilignin, and I always assumed that she was not pulling my leg, for the title seems to me very natural and suitable for that particular book, seen in that light of what the words could mean.

James Laughlin

New York City

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