Friday, October 9, 2009

Stein and Cubism

Gertrude Stein was among the elite writers of her time. She revolusionized the way people looked at poetry and writting in general. However, her ideas were not new ones. Stein was heavily influenced by the artists she surronded herself with; the so called "lost generation" of artists. Artists like Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Sherwood Anderson all played a role in shapeing this art movement. However it was one of Stein's close friends, Pablo Picasso, that had the most influence on her work. Stein was so in love with Picasso's Cubism works that she modled her works to be "Cubism in written form". This written Cubism, later known as Verbal Cubism, spilled over into many of Stein's works including her famous collection of poetry Tender Buttons.
One good example of Cubism in Stein's work would be the poem "Apple" in Tender Buttons. The Cubist idea of resembalence is all through this poem. Picasso and other Cubist artists used shapes and symbols to resemble objects without really showing what the object looked like. Stein also tried convay this idea in her writing. She said that she wanted to describe objects well enough to "not invent names, but mean names without naming them" (Books and Writers). Her poem "Apple" uses this idea to describe an apple. "Apple plum, carpet steak, seed clam, coloured wine, calm seen, cold cream, best shake, potato and no gold work with pet, a green seen is called bake and change sweet is bready, a little piece please" (Stein). This idea of resemblance is a direct reference to Cubism influenced by Picasso.
Another example in Tender Buttons of Cubism is her way of describing Cubism herself in the poem “A Carafe, That Is a Blind Glass”. In this poem, Stein describes Verbal Cubism in detail. "All this and not ordinary, not unordered in not resembling. The difference is spreading" (Stien). "All this and not ordinary" is the very essence of Cubism. The idea that an artist can take a normal object and turn it into somthing that is not ordinary is exactly what Picasso was trying to accomplish.
Picasso and his ideas of modern art were a great influence on Stein. It is obvious to see this in the language she uses. Her decriptions, repitition, and use of resemblance are all Cubist ideas that Picasso used in his art. Picasso must have had a heavy influence on Stien.

No comments:

Post a Comment