Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) was an American novelist, poet, playwright and art collector. Born in the Allegheny West neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in Oakland, California, Stein moved to Paris in 1903, and made France her home for the remainder of her life. She hosted a Paris salon, where the leading figures in modernism in literature and art would meet, such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, [[F. Scott Fitzgerald]], Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, and Henri Matisse. In 1933, Stein published a kind of memoir of her Paris years, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, written in the voice of Alice B. Toklas, her life partner. Toklas was an American-born member of the Parisian avant-garde. The book became a literary bestseller and vaulted Stein from the relative obscurity of cult literary figure into mainstream attention. Two quotes from her works have become widely known: „A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” and „there is no there there”, with the latter often taken to be a reference to her childhood home of Oakland, California. Her books include Q.E.D. (Quod Erat Demonstrandum), about a lesbian romantic affair involving several of Stein’s female friends; Fernhurst, a fictional story about a romantic affair; Three Lives (1905–06); The Making of Americans (1902-1911) and Tender Buttons. In the latter work, Stein comments on lesbian sexuality. Her activities during World War II have been the subject of analysis and commentary. As a Jew living in Nazi-occupied France, Stein may have been able to save her life and sustain her lifestyle as an art collector through the protection of powerful Vichy government official Bernard Faÿ. Stein continued to praise Vichy leader Marshall Pétain after the war ended, at a time when Pétain had been sentenced to death by a French court for treason. Others have argued that some of the accounts of Stein’s wartime activities have amounted to a „witch hunt”.

Content from the Wikipedia article Gertrude Stein licensed under CC-BY-SA.