Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tender Buttons Response

All I can think to myself when reading Gertrude Stein's "Tender Buttons" is how does she come up with this? Being a creative writer, asking these kinds of questions seems irrelevant, but it is still so fascinating! I think what I enjoy about "Tender Buttons" most is that it doesn't make any sense. But that is the point! With it, you kind of have to make up your own sense and parallel her words with that. This story doesn't conform to any traditional sense of structure. It is raw and organic. It's simple and beautiful, without having the question in the back of your head repeating over and over, "Now what does she mean by that?" It is not necessarily about what the words mean, but the sound of them.

"A sentence of a vagueness that is violence is authority and a mission and stumbling and also certainly also a prison. Calmness, calm is beside the plate and in way in. There is no turn in terror. There is no volume in sound."

This is a part that, for some reason, struck me in "Food." The last two sentences are particularly beautiful to me. Her writing is a continuous contradiction. Words as an aesthetic, words just being words.

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