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Gertrude Stein's Surrealist Years, Gertrude Stein's Surrealist Years, 0817320636, 0-8173-2063-6, 978-0-8173-2063-8, 9780817320638, , , Gertrude Stein's Surrealist Years, 0817392998, 0-8173-9299-8, 978-0-8173-9299-4, 9780817392994,

Gertrude Stein's Surrealist Years

Trade Cloth
2020. 232 pp.
Price:  $49.95 s
E Book
2020. 224 pp.
Price:  $49.95 d

Examineshow surrealism enriches our understanding of Stein’s writing through its poetics of oppositions
Gertrude Stein’s Surrealist Years brings to life Stein’s surrealist sensibilities and personal values borne from her WWII anxieties, not least of which originated in a dread of anti-Semitism. Stein’s earlier works such as Tender Buttons and Lucy Church Amiably tend to prioritize formal innovations over narrative-building and overt political motifs. However, Ery Shin argues that Stein’s later works engage more with storytelling and life-writing in startling ways—most emphatically and poignantly through the surrealist lens.
Beginning with The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas and continuing in later works, Stein renders legible her war-torn era’s jarring dystopian energies through narratives filled with hallucinatory visions, teleportation, extreme coincidences, action reversals, doppelgangers, dream sequences spanning both sleeping and waking states, and great whiffs of the occult. Such surrealist gestures are predicated on Stein’s return to the independent clause and, by extension, to plot, characterization, and anecdotes. By summoning the marvelous in a historically situated world, Stein joins her surrealist contemporaries in their own ambivalent crusade on behalf of historiography.
Besides illuminating Stein’s art and life, the surrealist framework developed here brings readers deeper into those philosophical ideas invoked by war. Topics of discussion emphasize how varied Jewish experiences were in Hitler’s Europe, how outliers like Stein can be included in the surrealist project, surrealism’s theoretical bind in the face of WWII, and the age-old question of artistic legacy.
Ery Shin is assistant professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her work has appeared in Modern Language Studies, the Journal of Modern Literature, and Texas Studies in Literature and Language.
Gertrude Stein’s Surrealist Years is a serious and original contribution to Stein studies. The breadth of historical and literary contexts is impressive as well as Shin’s exquisite close readings of a wide range of Stein’s primary texts.”
—Sharon J. Kirsch, author of Gertrude Stein and the Reinvention of Rhetoric and coeditor of Primary Stein: Returning to the Writing of Gertrude Stein
“In this original, provocative, and necessary study, Ery Shin brings new insight and perspective to a growing body of important scholarship, arguing for the implicitly progressive politics of Stein’s sui generis aesthetics. Crucially, Shin’s book also stands as a firm and powerful response to the spurious yet nevertheless persistent claims surrounding Stein’s alleged fascist leanings, for in lucid and convincing prose she shows how Stein’s artistic vision aligns with the dream state that her contemporaries among the Surrealists practiced and advocated as an antiauthoritarian consciousness. This book opens an entirely new conversation and will surely inspire new debate.”
—Amy Moorman Robbins, author of American Hybrid Poetics: Gender, Mass Culture, and Form
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