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Tag: Gertrude Stein

The Mystery of the Rose

The Mystery of the Rose

Okay. So, yes. The title of my blog post is a bit misleading, if not melodramatic. It’s a bald attempt to merge two new additions to Spinozablue — by Alexis Wingate and George Spencer, respectively. Here and here. Alexis brings us a provocative essay on Knut Hamsun’s novel, Mysteries, and George gives us his unique improvisation from a line of Barbara Guest’s poetry. But there is a precedent for that merger. Women and roses have been connected for millennia, in…

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Still another writing table: Hemingway and Big Game

Still another writing table: Hemingway and Big Game

 It’s quite possible I couldn’t pick two writers further apart from one another to deal with back to back. Temperamentally, artistically, biographically. Rilke and Hemingway. Yet both men were profoundly influenced by their days in Paris, and both men learned much about their art at the knee of an older woman. Perhaps it’s less than dime-store psychology to also suggest that both men had “issues” with their relationship to female sexuality. Issues that led to very different attempts to resolve…

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Paco De Lucia

Paco De Lucia

 Am still reading Geniuses Together, and it’s still excellent. Aside from the mention of bullfighting, another thing made me think about Spain and flamenco guitar music. Gertrude Stein once made the rather idiosyncratic observation (for the 20s) that America is the oldest country in the world, which is why so many of her best creative minds left for Europe. She said we were downright geriatric in our ways. This on the heels of a major study (Civilization in the United…

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Geniuses Together: Paris in the 1920s

Geniuses Together: Paris in the 1920s

 Have been reading a wonderful book, Geniuses Together: American Writers in Paris in the 1920s, by Humphrey Carpenter (1988). It makes me smile again and again. Amusing, revealing anecdotes about Gertrude Stein, Natalie Barney, Sylvia Beach, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and Robert McAlmon so far. Many of the stories well-known. Others not so much. The Left Bank. Montparnasse. Expat heaven. Dirt poor writers and wealthy socialites turned patronesses. Heavy drinking inside and outside bars, heavy talk in salons, insurgent antics…

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