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Gertrude Stein entry: Overview screen.
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Overview
Writing
Life
Writing and Life
Timeline
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Gertrude Stein concerned herself with problems of identity, knowledge, consciousness, and language. In a period of modernist experiment, she became famous as a radically innovative avant-gardist. Her experimental imagination played around and with the generic requirements of many forms—short stories, detective stories, novellas, literary portraits, poems, autobiographies, critical essays, operas, plays, and war reminiscences. This often non-referential work is opaque and resistant to interpretation. An expatriate for virtually all of her writing career and of the first half of the twentieth century, living largely in Paris (though in French villages during the Second World War), she marked her writing as deeply American. In the years between the wars she hosted her legendary salon at 27 rue de Fleurus, where, after 1910, she lived with her life partner, Alice B. Toklas. With her brother Leo, Stein was an early collector and promoter of modern, especially cubist, painting.  Bibliographic Citation link.
She spoke and wrote mainly in English, "living continuously with the rhythms of the English language." Bibliographic Citation link. Her literary models were Henry James and Gustave Flaubert. Bibliographic Citation link.
Milestones
8 a.m., 3 February 1874 GS was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Bibliographic Citation link.
1882 At the age of eight, GS tried to write a Shakespearean drama. She abandoned this project, however, for the less demanding melodrama, "Snatched from Death; or, The Sundered Sisters". Bibliographic Citation link.
1 September 1933 GS published The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Bibliographic Citation link.
22 July 1946 GS published Brewsie and Willie, a tale about GIs inspired by her encounters with American soldiers in the Second World War. Bibliographic Citation link.
6:30 pm, 27 July 1946 GS died of intestinal cancer at the American Hospital in Neuilly, France. Bibliographic Citation link.
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