The Stein Era
Reorienting readers of modernism away from Kenner’s The Pound Era, the introduction explains how Gertrude Stein’s Jewishness underwrites our very understanding of modernism. Literary innovators and critics like Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, and Edmund Wilson resentfully imagined modernism in the image of Stein and implicitly defined modernism as Jewish. Antisemitic Jewish abstractions were not new, however, as evinced by Matthew Arnold’s warnings against what he called modern society’s Hebraism and by racial scientists’ diagnoses of modernity’s Jewish degeneracy. The introduction documents Stein’s life and work as they unfolded against the backdrop of Arnold’s abstractions and changing ideas of Jewish identity. The diaries of Stein’s mother, Amelia (Milly) Stein, detail the Jewish practices of Stein’s childhood in Oakland, California, in the 1880s. Autobiographical and biographical sources document the Jewish thinking of Stein’s young adulthood and college days at Radcliffe and Harvard. The introduction suggests that Stein’s diverse stylistic and aesthetic responses to racial, economic, and cultural ideas about Jews in modernity form a Jewish grammar of modernism.
Florida Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.