Gertrude Stein

Standard Name: Stein, Gertrude
Birth Name: Gertrude Stein
Nickname: Altrude
Nickname: Sybil of Montparnasse
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 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.
Black and white photo of Gertude Stein taken by Carl Van Vechten in early 1935. She is standing in front of an American flag, wearing a dark jacket and pale scarf.
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Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Carson McCullers
About this time she was reading voraciously: theBrontësisters , Russian novelists and dramatists, and British and American modernists including Katherine Mansfield and Gertrude Stein . Isak Dinesen was to come later.
Carr, Virginia Spencer. The Lonely Hunter: A Biography of Carson McCullers. Doubleday and Co. Inc., 1975.
Dews, Carlos L., and Carson McCullers. “Chronology and Notes”. Complete Novels, Library of America, Literary Classics of the United States, 2001, pp. 807 - 27.
Family and Intimate relationships Edith Sitwell
She called him that tragic, haunted, and noble artist—one of the most generous human beings I have ever known.
Sitwell, Edith. Taken Care Of: An Autobiography. Hutchinson, 1965.
She was forty and Pavlik was twenty-nine when they met at the home of Gertrude Stein
Family and Intimate relationships Bryher
Though emotionally empty, the marriage was artistically productive. Most significantly, Bryher's introductions and family funds allowed McAlmon to establish his influential press, Contact Editions . Thus, Bryher's money and social connections enabled the publication of...
Friends, Associates Mina Loy
ML first met Leo and Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas at Mabel Dodge 's Florence salon. Mina's and Gertrude's friendship continued for many years, and Mina wrote and spoke about Stein's writing in the 1920s...
Friends, Associates Mina Loy
ML was now at the centre of the Parisian expatriate literary community, and she renewed her friendships with Gertrude Stein and Djuna Barnes .
Burke, Carolyn. Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1996.
In 1927 she spoke at Natalie Barney 's Académie des Femmes
Friends, Associates Edith Sitwell
By 1919 ES was also friendly with Arnold Bennett and his wife Marguerite . Wyndham Lewis became a great friend, did many drawings of her, and demonstrated a sexual interest in her as well, which...
Friends, Associates Natalie Clifford Barney
Despite their common pursuits, NCB and Gertrude Stein did not become acquainted until 1926, when Barney cultivated Stein's friendship. The women gradually began to exchange visits and to share guests at their salons. By 1939...
Friends, Associates Lady Ottoline Morrell
Her tour of the city with Chadbourne included the studios of Matisse and Picasso (in Montmartre), and Gertrude 's and Leo Stein 's collection of contemporary paintings.
Seymour, Miranda. Ottoline Morrell: Life on the Grand Scale. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1992.
Friends, Associates Nina Hamnett
In Paris NH quickly re-acquainted herself with old friends and met new ones, re-establishing her presence at the popular cafés. She re-connected with Marie Wassilieff , Zadkine , Brancusi , Aleister Crowley , and others...
Friends, Associates Edith Sitwell
In Paris ES frequented Sylvia Beach 's bookshop. She saw more than before of Gertrude Stein , whom she liked for her personal qualities but called the last writer whom any other writer in the...
Friends, Associates H. D.
In the 1920s, while HD and Bryher were living rootlessly, sometimes in London, sometimes in Europe, HD's list of acquaintances grew to include Gertrude Stein , Alice B. Toklas , Ernest Hemingway , James Joyce
Friends, Associates Sylvia Beach
Among the first subscribers were Thérèse Bertrand (later Fontaine) , André Gide , Dorothy and Ezra Pound , and Gertrude Stein .
Beach, Sylvia. Shakespeare and Company. Harcourt, Brace, 1959.
22, 26-7
With the loyal support of French literary figures such as Valery Larbaud
Friends, Associates Laura Riding
Graves and Riding were touchy as friends, between their sense of literary mission (they saw Graves's biography of T. E. Lawrence as a somewhat demeaning potboiler, not part of his real work at all) and...
Friends, Associates Virginia Woolf
By the time of the move to Tavistock Square, VW began to socialize more than she had in years. She circulated with Bloomsbury familiars and (re)acquainted herself with Rebecca West , Rose Macaulay ,...
Friends, Associates Hope Mirrlees
While living in Paris, Mirrlees and Harrison entertained visitors who included HM 's mother (widowed in 1924), and Virginia and Leonard Woolf .
Robinson, Annabel. The Life and Work of Jane Ellen Harrison. Oxford University Press, 2001.
The two women were acquainted with Edith Wharton , Dorothy (Strachey)


The Black US singer Josephine Baker , aged nineteen, met with phenomenal success in Paris; she was seen as exemplifying the Jazz Age on one hand and a new racial consciousness on the other.