Gertrude and the Carafe

Gertrude Stein is perhaps most notably known as a friend, a confidant, and a central figure in the Parisian art movement of the 1920s. Her home at 27 rue de Fleurus (which she shared with Alice B. Toklas), was a gathering place for modern artists and writers, from Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso to Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Besides being a strong influence on many notable figures, Gertrude was in her own right an accomplished novelist and poet. Her writing was bold and experimental. She rejected the idea of linear storytelling and took great leaps in her fiction and poetic style. With a dense form, that often lacked a plot, her writing was not warmly embraced by publishers or critics. She distilled language into an abstraction (like and abstract artist), so much so that it was hard for anyone to understand it.

Her writing received more interest from other writers and artists that it did the general public. She was always the great influencer of artists. To read her writing is to look not only into her mind, but into the minds of the many creative people that she had influence upon. It is a deep and puzzling place.

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