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Preview — Stanzas in Meditation by Gertrude Stein
Stanzas in Meditation: The Corrected Edition
In the 1950s, Yale University Press published a number of Gertrude Stein's posthumous works, among them her incomparable Stanzas in Meditation. Since that time, scholars have discovered that Stein's poem exists in several versions: a manuscript that Stein wrote and two typescripts that her partner Alice B. Toklas prepared. Toklas’s work on the second typescript changed the ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by Yale University Press
(first published April 1st 1994)
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I don't really know if this edition is the same as the volume of Yale that I have in hardback, but it probably is. Especially great when read aloud, this is my favorite Gertrude Stein. Found the edition that I have at Rogers' Book Barn up in the Berkshires.
One of the purposes of meditation is to detach from the noise of self. In this book, Stein creates constant presences with the proliferation of pronouns, persons who come and go, sometimes sweetly, sometimes annoyingly, and always somehow in the relation to the "i" who is trying to let go of her self-importance. Stein wrote in "Grammar and Poetry" that she loved pronouns for how "mistaken" they can be. Who are you and I, who is she and he, and where after all, is it? Deictic, pronouns show only ...more
To read this book, you must read a lot of other Stein works first because she quotes herself. Also you need to read biographical books including her autobiographies like The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. If you like rap, read Stanzas out loud and you will get the first level of this book. I found Joan Retallack's preface very helpful but you need to read that slowly with eyes open and pencil at hand. Check me out on Scene4.com where I will write a more complete review come September.
Gertrude Stein was an American writer who spent most of her life in France, and who became a catalyst in the development of modern art and literature. Her life was marked by two primary relationships, the first with her brother Leo Stein, from 1874-1914, and the second with Alice B. Toklas, from 1907 until Stein's death in 1946. Stein shared her salon at 27 rue de Fleurus, Paris, first with Leo an ...moreMore about Gertrude Stein...