I had quite a little blog post typed up about Ms. Stein. I didn’t get to a definitive conclusion, but certainly speculated. You know? I don’t think she’s an easy one to easily come to terms with, at any rate. And then, something happened, and it’s gone. And I’m fighting this really awful bug, and my head is congested, and this is burdensome. Oh well. This revision of sorts will leave something to the imagination.
Gertrude Stein is delicate reading. I am still not sure I’ve cracked her code, as it were. I began, first, by reading her lines in a sort of mantra-like way. After having taken in so many varying pieces of imagery, I started to simply disassociate what I was reading and instead focused mindfully on the images conjured up in my head. Based on our lecture Tuesday, I’m not quite sure whether or not this was Stein’s intention.
Then I began to highlight the prevalent use of repetition among selections, such as the use of the word “spreading” in “A Carafe That is a Blind Glass,” “A Piano,” and “A Little Bit of Tumbler.” I wondered whether Stein was trying to get readers to disassociate the denotative meanings of the words and simply to marvel at the sonic beauty of their sounds. This I believe we emphatically dismissed in class (though the harmony of her word selections still prevails.)
Gertrude Stein is a again a delicate read. The breaking down of her syntax into its simplest components, the imaginative speculations that are necessary to understanding her intentions, these are not easily done. I confess I’m still working on it. I can certainly she is a poet who does well to be read at length, to have her style absorbed. Certain poetic elements are retained, despite the meanings of the work being broken down. The parallel phrasings of “A Piano,” for example, create a work that almost flows according to a meter. Still, the arrival with any of Stein’s is as perplexing as any other. If anyone’s gotten farther along the way than I have, I’d love to talk about it. My grade will certainly benefit from it at any rate.