''Even the propagandists on the radio find it very difficult to really say let alone believe that the world will be a happy place, of love and peace and plenty, and that the lion will lie down with the lamb and everybody will believe anybody.''All quotations
The themes Gertrude Stein wrote about
Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France.
Gertrude Stein, the youngest of a family of five children, was born on February 3, 1874, in Allegheny, Pennsylvania (merged with Pittsburgh in 1907)to upper-class German Jewish parents, Daniel and Amelia Stein. Her father was a railroad executive whose investments in streetcar lines and real estate made the family wealthy.
When Gertrude was three years old she and her family moved to Vienna and then Paris. They returned to America in 1878, settling in Oakland, California, where Stein attended First Hebrew Congregation of Oakland's Sabbath school.
Her mother died in 1888, and her father in 1891. Michael, her eldest brother, took over the family business holdings. He arranged for Gertrude, and another sister, Bertha, to live with their mother's family in Baltimore after the deaths of their parents. In 1892, she lived with her uncle David Bachrach.
In Baltimore, Stein met Claribel Cone and Etta Cone, who held Saturday evening salons which she would later emulate in Paris. The Cones shared an appreciation for art and conversation about it, and modeled a domestic division of labor that Stein would replicate in her relationship with Alice B. Toklas.
Stein attended Radcliffe College from 1893 to 1897, and was a student of psychologist William James. With James's supervision, Stein and another student, Leon Mendez Solomons, performed experiments on Normal Motor Automatism, a phenomenon hypothesized to occur in people when their attention is divided between two simultaneous intelligent activities, like writing and speaking.
These experiments yielded examples of writing that appeared to represent "stream of consciousness," a psychological theory often attributed to James, which became a term used to describe the style of modernist authors Virginia Woolf and James Joyce. In 1934, behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner interpreted Stein's difficult poem Tender Buttons as an example of "normal motor automatism". In a letter Stein wrote during the 1930s, she explained that she never accepted the theory of automatic writing: "there can be automatic movements, but not automatic writing. Writing for the normal person is too complicated an activity to be indulged in automatically."
At Radcliffe, she began a lifelong friendship with Mabel Foote Weeks, whose correspondence traces much of the progression of Stein's life. In 1897, Stein spent the summer in Woods Hole, Massachusetts studying embryology at the Marine Biological Laboratory, succeeded by two years at Johns Hopkins Medical School. In 1901, she left Johns Hopkins without obtaining a degree.
In 1903, Stein moved to Paris, where she spent the rest of her life. From 1903 to 1914 she lived there with her brother Leo Stein, an art critic. It was during this period that she became well-known.
This text is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License