Gertrude Stein | Critical Review by John Ashbery

This literature criticism consists of approximately 5 pages of analysis & critique of Gertrude Stein.
This section contains 1,421 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "The Impossible," in Poetry, Vol. XC, No. 4, July, 1957, pp. 250-54.

In the following review of Stanzas in Meditation and Other Poems, Ashbery describes the difficult, ambitious nature of Stein's experiments with language.

[Stanzas in Meditation] will probably please readers who are satisfied only by literary extremes, but who have not previously taken to Miss Stein because of a kind of lack of seriousness in her work, characterized by lapses into dull, facile rhyme; by the over-employment of rhythms suggesting a child's incantation against grownups; and by monotony. There is certainly plenty of monotony in the 150-page title poem which forms the first half of this volume, but it is the fertile kind, which generates excitement as water monotonously flowing over a dam generates electrical power. These austere "stanzas" are made up almost entirely of colorless connecting words such as "where," "which," "these," "of," "not...

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This section contains 1,421 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by John Ashbery
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Review by John Ashbery from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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