Gertrude Stein Essay

Gertrude Stein Essay

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Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein is one of the most celebrated authors and patrons of the arts. She encouraged, influenced and aided many literary and artistic figures through her support, investment and writings.

Stein was born on February 3, 1874 into upper middle class surroundings in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. When she was 3 years old the family moved to Vienna and then on to Paris before returning to America in late 1878. Gertrude and her brother Leo became very close although he was two years her senior. They found like interests and became devoted allies through much of their early lives. Stein was eight years old when she made her first attempt at writing. Reading became an obsession for her beginning with Shakespeare and books on natural history.[2] In school she was fascinated with the structuring of sentences. She once said, “"I suppose other things may be more exciting to others...I like the feeling the everlasting feeling of sentences as they diagram themselves.[3]"

In 1904 she moved in with her brother Leo at 27 Rue de Fleurus which would become the meeting place of many writers, artists, critics and people drawn by her reputation. Her brother and she also began collecting paintings by Renoir, Gaughain, Picasso (who later painted her portrait), Cezanne, Baraque, Matisse and others[4]. The “Salon,” as their home came to be called, had paintings literally covering every wall. They had dinner parties every Saturday night and the “Salon” became a sanctuary for artists and writers. It became so popular that Stein had to begin writing late at night after all the other guests had departed. Her literary and artistic judgments were revered, and her chance remarks could make or destroy reputations.[5]

A...


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...bdominal pains which would be diagnosed as colon cancer a few months later. She was rushed to the hospital on July 19, 1946 and made her will on the 23rd leaving the bulk of her estate to Alice. On the 27th before being wheeled into emergency surgery her last words were spoken to Alice. "What is the answer? ...without a reply, "In that case...what is the question[11]?"



[1] Gertrude Stein-brief biography, http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/stein-bio.html

2 The World of Gertrude Stein, http://ellensplace.net/gstein5.html

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Gertrude Stein-brief biography, http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/stein-bio.html

[6] The World of Gertrude Stein, http://ellensplace.net/gstein5.

[7] Ibid

[8] Ibid

[9] Ibid

[10] Gertrude Stein-brief biography, http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/stein-bio.html

[11] Ibid

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