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Archive for the ‘stein’ Category

“when they are very new just only a box you can never tell which one is to be a window”

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Never been a huge McSweeney’s fan, but this is quite good…

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July 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Posted in stein

repetition, repression, modernism

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The first story in Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives, “The Good Anna,” is a something like a translation of Flaubert’s “Un coeur simple” adjusted for the advent of the discipline of psychology. Instead of saying once “Elle avait eu, comme une autre, son histoire d’amour,” it says it again and again and again and again, establishing its version of the  phrase (“The widow Mrs. Lehntman was the romance in Anna’s life” and variations thereupon) as an index of psychological blockage rather than literary irony. In Flaubert’s case, it follows, the phrase registers low bovarisme – the pathetic or bathetic implication of life in literary models. In Stein’s case, the phrase registers tautological euphemism, when we keep saying the same thing for lack of ability to say the next thing, the true thing.

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February 7, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Posted in flaubert, stein