Toklas, her lifelong companion, her brother Leo Stein – his book is a must read – and a slew of soon to be famous Salonettes, among the better known, Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway, and F.
Scott Fitzgerald—all an irresistible cast of characters.
And then there is a link to Stein seriously reciting, straight forward and dry, If I Had Told Him a Completed Portrait of Picasso. v=FJEIAGULm PQ For those few that read her, and continue to do so, Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) is an acquired taste, a taste I confess I acquired decades ago.
What attracted me to her, and still does, in addition to her writings and her ideas, is her common sense, an aspect that is rarely mentioned when the subject of Stein surfaces.
“Let me listen to me and not them,” she wisely wrote.
Gertrude Stein Essay Pictures
Another Stein quote that I identify with wholeheartedly and just discovered in my research for this review is “Argument to me is the air I breathe.The tradition has always been that you may more or less describe the things that happen you imagine them of course but you more or less describe the things that happen but nowadays everybody all day long knows what is happening and so what is happening is not really interesting, one knows it by radios cinemas newspapers biographies autobiographies until what is happening does not really thrill any one, it excites them a little but it does not really thrill them.The painter can no longer say that what he does is as the world looks to him because he cannot look at the world any more, it has been photographed too much and he has to say that he does something else.The thing in itself of which the human nature is only its clothing does hold the attention.The manner and habits of Bible times or Greek or Chinese have nothing to do with ours today but the masterpieces exist just the same and they do not exist because of their identity, that is what any one remembering then remembered then, they do not exist by human nature because everybody always knows everything there is to know about human nature, they exist because they came to be as something that is an end in itself and in that respect it is opposed to the business of living which is relation and necessity.Also below is a link to writer Janet Malcolm’s New Yorker essay on Gertrude Stein for those who want a more detailed account of Stein’s life and legacy.Though filled with biases and hearsay aplenty, it is still worth reading.A couple of decades ago, at an equally exciting event, I found myself, as the guest of Bruce Kellner, an authority on Carl Van Vechten and Langston Hughes, sitting at a round table with Edward M. By this I mean so simply that anybody knows it that composition is the difference which makes each and all of them then different from other generations and this is what makes everything different otherwise they are all alike and everybody knows it because everybody says it.Burns, Ula Dydo, and some forgotten others, all foremost Stein scholars in the country. It is very likely that nearly every one has been very nearly certain that something that is interesting is interesting them. It is very interesting that nothing inside in them, that is when you consider the very long history of how every one ever acted or has felt, it is very interesting that nothing inside in them in all of them makes it connectedly different.That is the reason why the creator of the new composition in the arts is an outlaw until he is a classic, there is hardly a moment in between and it is really too bad very much too bad naturally for the creator but also very much too bad for the enjoyer, they all really would enjoy the created so much better just after it has been made than when it is already a classic, but it is perfectly simple that there is no reason why the contemporaries should see, because it would not make any difference as they lead their lives in the new composition anyway, and as every one is naturally indolent why naturally they don’t see.”“One of the things that I discovered in lecturing was that gradually one ceased to hear what one said one heard what the audience hears one say, that is the reason that oratory is practically never a master-piece very rarely and very rarely history, because history deals with people who are orators who hear not what they are not what they say but what their audience hears them say.You can tell that so well in the difficulty of writing novels or poetry these days.