Summer 1961 • Vol. XXIII No. 3 Nonfiction |

Reflections on a Great Stone Face: The Achievement of Gertrude Stein

This is not an attempt at a reasoned consideration of the whole of the works of Gertrude Stein: I have not read them. To lay my qualifications on the table, I have read three or four of the books generally considered "major" and taken a dip into a goodish number of the others—a cool dip too. For reasons which will appear, so far as this particular literary lagoon is concerned, the present writer doubts if he will ever get his ears much wetter. The modern fallacy, fostered perhaps by dons of peculiar stamina, leisure, and unadventurousness, has it that in order to pass judgment, good or bad, upon a writer it is necessary to have penetrated into even the obscurest and least regarded corners of his oeuvre. The older-fashioned method of concentrating more or less exclusively upon the really important pieces was probably the sounder. At any rate, in the present instance I offer simply a set of reflections—with a bitter beginning and a mellower end—aroused by Gertrude Stein's own po

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By Hilary Corke

This is not an attempt at a reasoned consideration of the whole of the works of Gertrude Stein: I have not read them. To lay my qualifications on the table, […]

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