Tender Buttons

Gertrude Stein’s “Tender Buttons” (1914) offers “studies in description” of objects, in which, as in cubist still life, the object being described seems to be veiled by the medium of description. In the cubism of Picasso and Braque, the veils were the planes into which the painter broke up the canvas. In Stein’s writing, as… Continue Reading Tender Buttons

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

by Pericles Lewis When Gertrude Stein decided to write the story of her life, she did so in the voice of her lover, Alice B. Toklas. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933) was written in a more accessible style than much of Stein’s other work, which has led to speculations about the role of… Continue Reading The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

The Making of Americans

by Pericles Lewis Gertrude Stein’s mammoth Making of Americans (1925) is the story of “the old people in a new world, the new people made out of the old.” Like much of her pre-war work, The Making of Americans makes use of patterns of repetition and variation at the sentence level. Stein here uses a… Continue Reading The Making of Americans