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Gertrude Stein and the Making of Jewish Modernism$
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Amy Feinstein

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066318

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066318.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Brother Singulars

Brother Singulars

The “Hidden Tradition” of Jewish Culture in Stein’s First Fictions

Chapter:
(p.38) 2 Brother Singulars
Source:
Gertrude Stein and the Making of Jewish Modernism
Author(s):

Amy Feinstein

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813066318.003.0003

Chapter 2 explores Stein’s use of Arnold’s Hebraism in her first fictions to signal the Jewish morality of her middle-class characters. In 1903, Stein wrote the novella Q.E.D. and the brief first draft of her novel The Making of Americans. In both works, she presents ill-fated romances between ethically-Jewish and more aesthetically-inclined characters. In Q.E.D., she allusively depicts the Jewish identity of her protagonist Adele, who finds herself in a love affair with the aptly named Helen. Adele’s frequent lamentations have biblical roots in texts attributed to the prophet Jeremiah. Stein closes the novella with her characters in a romantic stalemate, but her romance fusing Arnoldian Hebraism and Hellenism as an ideal of Jewish culture had just begun. The affianced couple in the first draft of The Making of Americans espouses Stein’s Arnoldian fusion. The novel’s paterfamilial voice of Hebraism dismisses as “modern” the Hellenic inclinations towards the arts by the young heroine and her fiancé. Similar to Eliot, Woolf, and Joyce, Stein, in her revising of Arnold, imagines the modern writer, her Brother Singular, as one of a plurality of individuals whose typologically Jewish cultural ideals combine the ethical traditions of the Hebrew with the intellectually liberating creativity of the Hellene.

Keywords:   middle class, Brother Singular, Hebraism, Q.E.D, Jewish culture, T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Jeremiah, lamentations

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