related links:gertrude stein online
The editors of this site welcome any inquiries about Stein's biography and art. These questions will be considered by notable Stein-scholars and specialists whose answers will be recorded on this page. Please direct your questions to Sonja Streuber or Stafford. If your question is a matter of theory as opposed to a matter of fact, please join Stein-L, a virtual salon and mailing list on the art of Gertrude Stein.

Gertrude Stein Online: Frequently and Rarely Asked Questions

What is behind the oft quoted stein phrase "there is no there there"?
The quote "There is no there there" appears in Stein's Book _Everybody's Autobiography_. When Stein returned to California on her lecture tour to the United States in the 1930s, she wanted to visit her childhood home in Oakland, CA. She records that she could not find the house. Hence, "there is no there there." –Sonja Streuber

What is Gertrude Stein referring to in 'Rose is a rose' in _Sacred Emily_?
Several theories exist about "Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose." One of them, advanced by poststructuralist Stein critics mostly in the 1970s and early 80s, deals with the deconstruction of poetic convention and the reification of nouns as nouns (the technique Stein announces varioulsy in her essays on poetics). Other critics like to read this statement through _Tender Buttons_ in analogy to Stein's use of "silver" in "Rooms," which, as Marianne DeKoven (and in part also Lisa Ruddick) in her more recent work on Stein maintains, connotes a "coded" lover. Repetition wold therefore reconstruct this lover in what Stein calls the continuous present, or "Time-sense," in "Composition as Explanation." –Sonja Streuber

Who controls the Stein Estate now?
Executor of the Stein Estate is Calman Levin Esq., at Levin & Gann, 900 Mercantile Bank & Trust Building, 2 Hopkins Plaza, Baltimore, Maryland 21201 -Ed Burns

Can you tell me where Alice B. Toklas Place is in San Francisco?
Alice B. Toklas Place is a small three block alley-street located between Franklin and Larkin, and between Powell and Geary. You can easily generate an area map if you wish to visit by using an online mapping service such as MapBlast or MapQuest. –Stafford

What did the "B" stand for in Alice B. Toklas?
According to the Library of Congress files, Alice Toklas' middle name was Babette. –Stafford

When is Gertrude Stein's birthday?
February 3rd, 1874 is her birthday. She was born at 8 a.m. in Allegheny Pennsylvania at 850 Beech Avenue to Daniel and Amelia Stein. –Stafford

When did Gertrude Stein die?
Gertrude Stein died on July 29, 1946. She is buried on the Cimitiere Pere Lachaise in Paris. Here is a picture of her headstone. –Sonja Streuber

"I hear Gertrude Stein is difficult to read. Which of her works are most accessible for a novice?"
"Though much of Stein's writing has been taunted as elitest or even nonsensical because of its repetitive and obtuse style, some of her works are very readable and more conventional in style. Three Lives, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, and Everybody's Autobiography provide great introductions to her writing. From there, Paris France, The World Is Round, and Tender Buttons will lead you further and further into Stein's enjoyment of words and what they can do. On another note, my all-time favorite biography of Stein and her times, is Charmed Circle by James R. Mellow, which, though out of print, is widely available at used bookstores." –Hans Gallas

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