Andrew's Reviews > Tender Buttons

Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein
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Jul 10, 2011

bookshelves: poetry
Read in July, 2011

I read Three Lives ages ago and found it to be modernism at its most sweethearted. This is modernism at its coldest.

Sometimes Stein's peculiar linguistic juxtapositions serve her cause, but other times, it feels without purpose. At the height of the cubist era, after 150 years of miserable sentimental novels, this was probably a total breath of fresh air.

I was really into Dada when I was a sniveling little punk-rock youth. I would have liked it more then. Now so many of these haute-moderne language experiments just feel so tired. Some of them still have a spark, but it's when they're in a less "CONCEPTS ONLY" framework-- Woolf, Joyce, and Faulkner still feel as revolutionary now as they did when they first hit the scene.
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