Selected Writings of Gertrude Steinby Gertrude Stein
"This collection, a retrospective exhibit of the work of a woman who created a unique place for herself in the world of letters, contains a sample of practically every period and every manner in Gertrude Stein's career. It includes The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas in its entirety; selected passages from The Making of Americans; "Melanctha"from Three Lives; portraits of the painters Cezanne, Matisse, and Picasso; Tender Buttons; the opera Four Saints in Three Acts; and poem, plays, lectures, articles, sketches, and a generous portion of her famous book on the Occupation of France, Wars I Have Seen.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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- Random House
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I would like to begin by saying that I am not an authority on poetry. In fact, prior to this year it had been a genre of writing I had been content to overlook. However, after being introduced to Stein and a handful of others, I have come to find that I am developing an appreciation for the varying elements and methods within a poetic work. Now, I single Stein out specifically because her writing represents almost the exact -opposite- of what I had been told poetry should be. The poetry I knew, prior to reading her, adhered to a strict set of rules and the words had their place within their structuring. Stein sets herself apart from such rigor. Instead of following proven patterns she plays with her words. In her poems – her prose, the English language becomes little more than legos. The words are fit together in seemingly nonsensical sentences, but if one reads her writing aloud (and really she must be read aloud) then the method to her madness becomes more apparent. Stein's writing is largely pieced together by sound. The words, in their repetition (or many repetitions as is often the case), carry patterned cadences that allow a reader to literally get lost within them. If you are an individual who can appreciate wordplay, or if you have ever – for the sheer pleasure of it, taken a word and repeated it until it no longer held definition, then I would recommend reading Stein's works.