Gertrude Stein

Essay by SuseUniversity, Bachelor's June 2005

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Gertrude Stein`s works

For many readers and I am not an exception, Gertrude Stein remained a puzzle. Therefore, I decided to have a closer look into her ideas trying to understand her. All her life she was an experimenter. The structural principle, new ideas about the use of the grammatical principles, the sense of time were the major principles Gertrude Stein implemented in her works. She was very sure of her vision and her methods, as she once wrote:

"Nobody knows what I trying to do and I know when I succeed."

She is also one of the cleverest writers. All her life Gertrude Stein searched for wisdom and she was afraid of what the wisdom would do to her.

She was one of the best friends of Picasso and her influence on Hemingway and Sherwood Anderson is significant.

Her writings were closely linked with the theory of time.

For instance, she thought that generations are the same or, in other words, we have many similarities with our previous generations and our children will have many similarities with customs, traditions, and us. Gertrude Stein considered the past was contained to the present. She introduces her sense of time as "continuous present":

"The only thing that is different from one time to another is what is seen and what is seen depends upon how everybody is doing everything."

She did two things in modern writing:

- she removes traditional figures from historical context ("The Making of Americans"),

- she described that present is at the moment of its being present.

It was Gertrude Stein above all who shattered the forms of conventional grammar and syntax, who demonstrated the possibilities of free association and the abandonment of conventional word-values in literary experimentation.

It should be also said that, even if she...