A Vocabulary of Thinking: Gertrude Stein and Contemporary by Deborah M. Mix

By Deborah M. Mix

Using experimental sort as a framework for shut readings of writings produced by means of overdue twentieth-century North American girls, Deborah combine areas Gertrude Stein on the middle of a feminist and multicultural account of twentieth-century leading edge writing. Her meticulously argued paintings maps literary affiliations that attach Stein to the paintings of Harryette Mullen, Daphne Marlatt, Betsy Warland, Lyn Hejinian, and Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. via distinguishing a vocabulary-which is versatile, evolving, and at the same time person and communal--from a lexicon-which is recorded, fastened, and contains the load of masculine authority--Mix argues that Stein's experimentalism either allows and calls for the advanced responses of those authors.
    Arguing that those authors have obtained particularly little recognition as a result of trouble in categorizing them, combine brings the writing of ladies of colour, lesbians, and collaborative writers into the dialogue of experimental writing. hence, instead of exploring traditional traces of impression, she departs from prior scholarship by utilizing Stein and her paintings as a lens by which to learn the methods those authors have renegotiated culture, authority, and innovation.
    construction at the culture of experimental or avant-garde writing within the usa, combine questions the politics of the canon and literary effect, bargains shut readings of formerly overlooked modern writers whose paintings does not healthy inside of traditional different types, and by way of linking genres no longer generally linked to experimentalism-lyric, epic, and autobiography-challenges ongoing reevaluations of leading edge writing.

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Additional resources for A Vocabulary of Thinking: Gertrude Stein and Contemporary North American Women's Innnovative Writing

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Supposing a sentence to be clear whose is it,” Stein muses in “Sentences” (148). As Peter Quartermain explains, a phrase like this one puts into question “the reader’s possession of meaning, for in rendering inaccessible to the reader the customary contract with the author as authority, it undermines the reader’s sense of his/her own certainty as arbiter of the meaning of the text” (23). Instead, Stein encourages her readers to question the acts of reading and interpretation, (re)figuring them as open-ended and ongoing, rather than as potentially foreclosable acts.

In “Sentences,” Stein considers the relationships between authors, their texts, and their readers: Three Vocabularies of Thinking . . 23 With the hope that they will like it which has not been predicted. They will hope that they will like it although this is not predicted. They will be with whatever they have as pleasure. When is whenever it is whatever it is that she is either with with mending that it is. Think of a sentence why should there be a noun. They think of a sentence. Why should there be a noun.

Through their remaking of generic forms, each author finds a new way to tell her story and to intervene in the social sphere. Irigaray writes, “If we don’t find our body’s language, it will have too few gestures to accompany our story. We shall tire of the same ones, and leave our desires unexpressed, unrealized. Asleep again, unsatisfied, we shall fall back upon the words of men. . [W]e shall remain paralyzed” (214). Irigaray’s exhortation to “hurry and invent our own phrases” (215) seems apt for understanding experimental writing.

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