Gertrude Stein’s book of prose poems Tender Buttons has been characterized as a modernist literary work by most of its critics. As a distinctive feature of its modernist poetics critics in particular emphasize Stein’s denial of representation through verbal abstraction and autotelism. This paper, however, intends to read Tender Buttons somewhat differently by suggesting that the poems may be viewed as an example of a displaced Rabbinic hermeneutics in the sense given the term by Susan Handelman. Inasmuch as Stein refuses to name the many objects properly that the titles of the poems introduce and instead – to employ her own term – “abuses” their names by way of wordplay, punning, syntactical ambiguity, and semantic disruption, she impersonates a secular Reb Stein, who stays faithful to the Scripture by sacred contempt of representation and obedience to (the play of) the letter. Perhaps this is the real reason why she has so easily and so often been mistaken for a modernist poet par exellence.
|Status||Udgivet - 2004|
|Begivenhed||Ninth Conference for English Studies - University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Danmark|
Varighed: 24 maj 2004 → 27 maj 2004
Konferencens nummer: 9
|Konference||Ninth Conference for English Studies|
|Lokation||University of Aarhus|
|Periode||24/05/04 → 27/05/04|