By Sharon J. Kirsch
For humanities students in addition to renowned audiences, the connection among rhetoric and literature continues to be vexed, partly because of rhetoric’s modern association with composition, which makes it become independent from, if now not subordinate to, the learn of literature. Gertrude Stein famous no such separation, and this disciplinary policing of the examine of English has lowered our realizing of her paintings, Kirsch argues. Stein’s profession spread out on the crossroads of literary composition and rhetorical thought, a domain the place she alternately challenged, satirized, and reinvented the 5 classical canons of rhetoricinvention, association, type, reminiscence, and deliveryeven as she invented new trajectories of literary experimentation.
Kirsch follows Stein from her days learning composition and philosophy at Harvard via her expatriate years in France, reputation within the Thirties, and event of the second one global struggle. She frames Stein’s explorations of language as a creative poetics that reconceived practices and theories of rhetorical invention in the course of a interval that observed the increase of literary reviews and the decline of rhetorical reviews. via cautious readings of canonical and lesser-known works, Kirsch deals a powerful serious portrait of Stein as a Sophistic provocateur who reinvented the canons by way of creating a efficient mess of canonical rhetoric and modernist different types of thought.
Readers will locate a lot of curiosity in Gertrude Stein and the Reinvention of Rhetoric. Kirsch bargains myriad insights to students of Stein, to these drawn to the interdisciplinary intersections of literature, rhetoric, and philosophy, in addition to to students and scholars within the box of rhetoric and communique experiences. Positioning Stein as a massive twentieth-century rhetorical theorist is very well timed given expanding curiosity in old and theoretical resonances among rhetoric and poetics and given the continuing loss of acceptance for girls theorists in rhetorical studies.
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Additional resources for Gertrude Stein and the Reinvention of Rhetoric
The opening statement about language makes clear what language is not: imitation. Rather, it is “an intellectual recreation”— a phrase that, at first glance, might be dismissed as playful amusement. But recreation, as a noun, suggests refreshment as well as amusement, refreshment of the mind or body by engaging in enjoyable activities; it is part of what makes humanity something. ”. Language is creating anew, refreshing, rejuvenating, and it is collective. When Stein claims that “Grammar is in our power,” she means it, for if it is not in our power, it will surely be in someone else’s (73).
Stein, How to Write Gertrude Stein, the premier experimental modernist, crafted The Making of Americans (1906–1908) a decade before T. S. Eliot began The Waste Land. She published Tender Buttons years before George Willard reported on Winesburg, Ohio (1919) and just as Ezra Pound made his first attempt in 1915 at what would become a touchstone in literary modernism, The Cantos. Pound’s title refers to the poetic form he used, dividing the poem into 120 sections that resist coherent arrangement.
Think of that” (109–111). Specifically, Stein asks her audience to “think closely of how grammar is a folder,” about grammar as a container of language and its history. If grammar is the study of language, a composed body of words, their structure, arrangement, pronunciation, meaning, and history, then what is Stein asking? 22 Stein’s grammarian theorizes the role of history to the work of writing by looking back in at least two ways. First, “to look back in the direction in which they came” and, second, “to look back in the way in which they came”—a subtle but Steinian distinction (emphasis added).