Gertrude Stein and the Making of Jewish Modernism (Hardcover)
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Challenging the assumption that modernist writer Gertrude Stein seldom integrated her Jewish identity and heritage into her work, this book uncovers Stein's constant and varied writing about Jewish topics throughout her career. Amy Feinstein argues that Judaism was central to Stein's ideas about modernity, showing how Stein connects the modernist era to the Jewish experience. Combing through Stein's scholastic writings, drafting notebooks, and literary works, Feinstein analyzes references to Judaism that have puzzled scholars. She reveals the never-before-discussed influence of Matthew Arnold as well as a hidden Jewish framework in Stein's epic novel The Making of Americans. In Stein's experimental "voices" poems, Feinstein identifies an explicitly Jewish vocabulary that expresses themes of marriage, nationalism, and Zionism. She also shows how Wars I Have Seen, written in Vichy France during World War II, compare the experience of wartime occupation with the historic persecution of Jews. Affirming the importance of Jewish identity and modernist style to Gertrude Stein's legacy as a writer, this book radically changes the way we read and appreciate Stein's work.
About the Author
Amy Feinstein teaches English in the New York City public schools.