Feb 2, 2012

Reconsidering the Genius of Gertrude Stein

(NYTBR) Approaching Gertrude Stein’s writing critically is tricky. Because she strove to reshape literary conventions — syntax, language usage, narrative order and the sense of making sense — any comment on her choices may already be rebuffed in her poetics and practice. Stein is a trickster. This may be why, as I read “Ida” and “Stanzas in Meditation,” both reissued in corrected, authoritative editions from Yale University Press, I remembered a Jonathan Richman lyric I’ll paraphrase as “Pablo Picasso never got called a jackass.” Continued