Esteban Pujals
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Lecture SeriesUnique Women (III)Gertrude Stein

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  • Date: 30/04/2013
  • Presenter:
    • Lucía Franco

The knowledge on the work of an author, is normally accompanied by a certain knowledge of their biography. Sometimes we read the work of an author after having learned something from the person which has interested us, while in other occasions it may be the works themselves what triggers the interest for the biography of the author. In any case, and regardless of the relative autonomy that memorable writings tend to enjoy in relation to the person composing them, it would seem that the ignorance of the reader in relation to one or other realm fragments or hides what can be defined as the most informed and lucid perspective of something we see as a unit: the work and the vital process that produces it. It is true that in rare occasions very differentiated personalities can produce interchangeable pieces, like the paintings of Picasso and Braque in the years of analytical cubism. Nevertheless, the art of the so called Western societies have been strongly betting since the 14th century on the signature and authorship, and usually, right when it is said that there is a impersonality aspiration, the more imaginatively and subtly that a work manifests the uniqueness of the person who conceived it.

In the case of Gertrude Stein it could be said that the unitarian set constituted by work and life correspond and complete the ying-yang symbol: the feeling of awkwardness that we experiment upon a work could be equivalent to the analogue feeling of rareness upon the information, little or lot, about the circumstances of life. What this apparent harmony of strange things has finally consolidated is the normalized conception behind which it is hidden the formidable prejudice that for almost a century has prevented us from understanding Stein's ambition as writer, and her very considerable contribution to the literary and artistic culture of our days.

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