Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein was born in Pittsburg in 1874. She moved to Paris in 1903.

“For Gertrude Stein, even though she had some money, she was able to have a much more comfortable life in Paris than she would have had she stayed in America. And of course there was tremendous intellectual excitement due to all the artists and authors who chose to live there.” Wai Chee Dimock discussing Hemingway in Paris.

Tender Buttons in particular was the book that made her notorious. It was a small press publication, but it got picked up by the American newspapers, who began to quote it, parody it, and generally mock it as nonsense. Later, in the 1930s, she goes to the United States on a lecture tour and there’s a little audio clip of a journalist saying to her, “Miss Stein, what do you say to people who don’t understand what you write?” and she says, “I say, if you enjoy it, you understand it.”” Jeremy Noel-Tod recommending prose poetry.

Books by Gertrude Stein

Interviews where books by Gertrude Stein were recommended

The Best Prose Poetry, recommended by Jeremy Noel-Tod

It’s not quite poetry, yet not quite prose: the prose poem is “the defining poetic invention of modernity,” argues Jeremy Noel-Tod, editor of The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem. Here he chooses five of the best prose poems from Arthur Rimbaud to Claudia Rankine.

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