Here and There

Friday, February 09, 2007

Paris, France by Gertrude Stein

Do you know Gertrude Stein? I think she's wonderful. Kind of the adult equivalent of The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown: "The important thing about a shoe is that you put your foot in it. You walk in it and you take it off at night, and it's warm when you take it off. But the important thing about a shoe is that you put your foot in it."

She does the same thing, but with grown-up stuff. Like why Paris was so important to art and writing. In her book Paris, France which I am rereading right now, she writes a little story about Helen Button. A little girl in war-time. It is so well done. Of Helen's friend Emil: "Emil was not an orphan. He had a horse. There were not many of them, most of them had been taken to go to the war. Emil's horse was a heavy one the kind that pulled things, that is perhaps the reason they did not take him, he went ahead too slowly even for war-time.

Not very much punctuation, but once you start realizing you can't anticipate where the sentence is going, (Is it a question? Is it sarcastic? Will this sentence ever end?) you just kind of listen to her talking to you. She talks about dogs and food and art and she is quite friendly though she always seems stern.

Gertrude is on the left, Alice is walking the dog.

3 comments:

Kudo_Kenshin said...
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Bora said...

Have you read Monique Truong's The Book of Salt? It's a fictional account of Stein and Toklas' Vietnamese cook. Didn't love the book, but it's an interesting premise.

jillyg said...

Sounds interesting, i've never read it.