Gertrude Stein, Modernism, and the Problem of Genius
Barbara Will, "Gertrude Stein, Modernism, and the Problem of Genius"
2000 | pages: 193 | ISBN: 0748611983 | PDF | 0,9 mb
Gertrude Stein frequently called herself a genius, but what did this term really mean for her? Steins claims to genius are legendary, appearing frequently throughout her texts and public lectures. Were they the signs of excessive egotism, of desperate self-advertisement, or of something else entirely? This book examines the centrality and the specificity of the idea of genius to Steins work and to the aesthetic ideals and contradictory intellectual affiliations of high modernism in general. Through a chronological reading, it maps Steins move from an early investment in an essential and essentializing notion of genius to her later use of the term to describe an anti-essentialist, democratic textual process. It considers how this revisionary idea of genius came to correspond with Steins identification of herself as Jewish, queer and American. And it ends with Steins seemingly paradoxical decision to call a text about being a genius in America, Everybodys Autobiography. Drawing upon