Daily Archives for: October 26th, 2018

“Objects” from Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein (1914)

One of Gertrude Stein’s earliest published works, Tender Buttons (1914) is this delightfully perplexing author’s attempt to “create a relationship between the word and the things seen.” 

Especially in the first years since its publication, critics have been divided between praising Tender Buttons as a masterwork of of experimental cubist literature, or trashing it as pure nonsense.

Contemporary interpretations tend to find it praiseworthy. Whatever camp you find yourself in, it’s hard to dismiss the fact that this slim volume of prose poetry is entertaining, if more than occasionally head-scratching. You can read two original reviews from the time of its 1914 publication here. Read More→


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Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein: Experiment in Cubist Poetry, or Literary Prank?

Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein (1874 – 1946) is this gloriously perplexing author’s absurdist collection of prose-poems — if you want to call them that. Critics have long been divided as to whether this 1914 book is a brilliant compilation of cubist literature or Stein’s intentional prank on the reading public.

One of Stein’s earliest published works, Tender Buttons is an experiment in language, her attempt to “create a word relationship between the word and the things seen.” Since Stein was so much the self-proclaimed genius, it’s doubtful she would have created this slim volume purely as a joke. Read More→


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