Tender Buttons

Tender Buttons

by Gertrude Stein
2.9 11


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Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein

Before becoming the patron of Lost Generation artists, Gertrude Stein established her reputation as an innovative author whose style was closer to painting than literature. Stein's strong influence on 20th-century literature is evident in this 1915 work of highly original prose rendered in thought-provoking experimental techniques.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781598189193
Publisher: Aegypan
Publication date: 08/01/2006
Pages: 132
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.31(d)

About the Author

Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 - July 27, 1946) was an American novelist, poet, playwright and art collector. Born in the Allegheny West neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in Oakland, California, Stein moved to Paris in 1903, and made France her home for the remainder of her life. She hosted a Paris salon, where the leading figures in modernism in literature and art would meet, such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, and Henri Matisse.

In 1933, Stein published a kind of memoir of her Paris years, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, written in the voice of Alice B. Toklas, her life partner. Toklas was an American-born member of the Parisian avant-garde.

The book became a literary bestseller and vaulted Stein from the relative obscurity of cult literary figure into mainstream attention. Two quotes from her works have become widely known: "Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose" and "there is no there there", with the latter often taken to be a reference to her childhood home of Oakland, California.

Her books include Q.E.D. (Quod Erat Demonstrandum) (1903), about a lesbian romantic affair involving several of Stein's female friends; Fernhurst, a fictional story about a romantic affair; Three Lives (1905-06); The Making of Americans (1902-1911) and Tender Buttons. In the latter work, Stein comments on lesbian sexuality.

Her activities during World War II have been the subject of analysis and commentary. As a Jew living in Nazi-occupied France, Stein may have been able to save her life and sustain her lifestyle as an art collector through the protection of powerful Vichy government official Bernard Faÿ. Stein continued to praise Vichy leader Marshall Pétain after the war ended, at a time when Pétain had been sentenced to death by a French court for treason. Others have argued that some of the accounts of Stein's wartime activities have amounted to a "witch hunt".

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Tender Buttons (Barnes and Noble Digital Library) 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of language poetry, this is the book for you. Stein is the woman who virtually created "language poetry" as we know it. This collection of her poems focuses on everyday things. The first section is all about things that are in her home: A Vase, A Box, etc. The second section is about food and the third about rooms. Stein was one of the expatriates that were in Paris after WWI and were trying to find a new way of thinking about writing about the world. Stein famously wrote "Act so that there is no use in a center." Stein wrote without a center. She, along with many others, believed that life had no center, and if it did, its only center would be art. Stein had a personal art gallery that housed paintings by Picasso, Cézanne, Gauguin, Matisse, and Renoir. She believed that art was the greatest medium and would collect that which she valued. In fact, many chose to visit Stein rather than go to the museums because Stein had "better" contemporary art than the museums did at the time. Many have compared Stein's writing to the Cubist movement. This certain helps one understand her writing style. The repetition, the use of color, and the way shapes and/or words can take on a new meaning when used in certain contexts. However, if you are expecting a linear thought process, traditional ("normal") writing style, or any kind of character or plot, this is not the collection for you. If you choose Stein's "Tender Buttons", please do so with the understanding that this is not even typical poetry. Please keep an open mind, and if it helps, do some research to help you understand the deeper meanings of poems such as "A Box."
otterly More than 1 year ago
This was quite a short book--supposedly being quite artistic. What came to my mind is that she was either influenced by Dt. Seuss, or he was influenced by her. It is different--a sort of cookie for the brain. Maybe a book group would like to dissect it. They would have plenty of time to eat refreshments and drink tea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Even my attempt above to parody her style makes far more sense than anything in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In order to read Tender Bottons you have to understand Stein. Without knowledhe of her love of the English language and playibg with it, you will be lost. The book was not written to have any kind of progression. It is meant to be read aloud and with many interpretations. If you read it in your head you will be lost. Stein is like a mad scientest. Many know hes brilliant but few can understand her enough to appreciate her and her work.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was extremely hard to understand even though I was reading it for a class. Therefore, I would only recommend it to literary scholars who might understand it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Put Trustworthy down.