Production and reproduction: Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)

Rod Rosenquist, Gaston Franssen (Editor), Rick Honings (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

Abstract

Literary scholarship provides ample exploration of Gertrude Stein the experimental writer and her artistic coterie circles, largely focusing on her early limited-circulation publications and her Paris salon, but is also beginning to establish a clear outline of Gertrude Stein the celebrity and her mass markets, particularly those based in America. This chapter will focus on the moments when the two Steins met one another – first, in the reception of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, but more particularly in the circumstances when Stein arrives in Times Square to see a moving electric sign announcing, ‘Gertrude Stein Has Arrived’, as related in her second autobiography. This sign is more than an illustration of Stein’s celebrated ‘arrival’ in 1934 – it is a disturbing instance of the power of the proliferation and replication of aura in an age of celebrity. The chapter will use Walter Benjamin’s contemporary essay, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ (1936) to explore the mass market reproductions of Stein’s artistic aura, first examining how her unique prose style – an example of authorial self-projection, or imprimatur – is copied and parodied in newspaper columns and advertisements, but also how her name and image become separated from her work, and she becomes, in the words of Daniel J. Boorstin’s definition of celebrity, ‘well-known for being well-known.’ This is ultimately disturbing to Stein, who wants her work to remain the root of the public’s interest in her. She describes how the electronic sign announcing her arrival is ‘upsetting’, raising questions related to aesthetic, cultural and economic values and ultimately her own ‘recognition and non-recognition’ of herself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCelebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Pages133-155
Number of pages209
ISBN (Print)9781137558671
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2016

Fingerprint

Celebrity
Gertrude Stein
Autobiography
Aura
Works of Art
Economics
Replication
Paris Salon
Public Interest
Aesthetics
Reception
Names
Alice B. Toklas
Walter Benjamin
Prose Style
Writer

Cite this

Rosenquist, R., Franssen, G. (Ed.), & Honings, R. (Ed.) (2016). Production and reproduction: Gertrude Stein (1874-1946). In Celebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature (pp. 133-155). London: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-55868-8
Rosenquist, Rod ; Franssen, Gaston (Editor) ; Honings, Rick (Editor). / Production and reproduction: Gertrude Stein (1874-1946). Celebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature. London : Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., 2016. pp. 133-155
@inbook{0f0dad490f3e4347a6effcbb2ca997cf,
title = "Production and reproduction: Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)",
abstract = "Literary scholarship provides ample exploration of Gertrude Stein the experimental writer and her artistic coterie circles, largely focusing on her early limited-circulation publications and her Paris salon, but is also beginning to establish a clear outline of Gertrude Stein the celebrity and her mass markets, particularly those based in America. This chapter will focus on the moments when the two Steins met one another – first, in the reception of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, but more particularly in the circumstances when Stein arrives in Times Square to see a moving electric sign announcing, ‘Gertrude Stein Has Arrived’, as related in her second autobiography. This sign is more than an illustration of Stein’s celebrated ‘arrival’ in 1934 – it is a disturbing instance of the power of the proliferation and replication of aura in an age of celebrity. The chapter will use Walter Benjamin’s contemporary essay, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ (1936) to explore the mass market reproductions of Stein’s artistic aura, first examining how her unique prose style – an example of authorial self-projection, or imprimatur – is copied and parodied in newspaper columns and advertisements, but also how her name and image become separated from her work, and she becomes, in the words of Daniel J. Boorstin’s definition of celebrity, ‘well-known for being well-known.’ This is ultimately disturbing to Stein, who wants her work to remain the root of the public’s interest in her. She describes how the electronic sign announcing her arrival is ‘upsetting’, raising questions related to aesthetic, cultural and economic values and ultimately her own ‘recognition and non-recognition’ of herself.",
author = "Rod Rosenquist and Gaston Franssen and Rick Honings",
year = "2016",
month = "10",
day = "17",
doi = "10.1057/978-1-137-55868-8",
language = "English",
isbn = "9781137558671",
pages = "133--155",
booktitle = "Celebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature",
publisher = "Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.",
address = "United Kingdom",

}

Rosenquist, R, Franssen, G (ed.) & Honings, R (ed.) 2016, Production and reproduction: Gertrude Stein (1874-1946). in Celebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., London, pp. 133-155. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-55868-8

Production and reproduction: Gertrude Stein (1874-1946). / Rosenquist, Rod; Franssen, Gaston (Editor); Honings, Rick (Editor).

Celebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature. London : Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., 2016. p. 133-155.

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

TY - CHAP

T1 - Production and reproduction: Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)

AU - Rosenquist, Rod

A2 - Franssen, Gaston

A2 - Honings, Rick

PY - 2016/10/17

Y1 - 2016/10/17

N2 - Literary scholarship provides ample exploration of Gertrude Stein the experimental writer and her artistic coterie circles, largely focusing on her early limited-circulation publications and her Paris salon, but is also beginning to establish a clear outline of Gertrude Stein the celebrity and her mass markets, particularly those based in America. This chapter will focus on the moments when the two Steins met one another – first, in the reception of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, but more particularly in the circumstances when Stein arrives in Times Square to see a moving electric sign announcing, ‘Gertrude Stein Has Arrived’, as related in her second autobiography. This sign is more than an illustration of Stein’s celebrated ‘arrival’ in 1934 – it is a disturbing instance of the power of the proliferation and replication of aura in an age of celebrity. The chapter will use Walter Benjamin’s contemporary essay, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ (1936) to explore the mass market reproductions of Stein’s artistic aura, first examining how her unique prose style – an example of authorial self-projection, or imprimatur – is copied and parodied in newspaper columns and advertisements, but also how her name and image become separated from her work, and she becomes, in the words of Daniel J. Boorstin’s definition of celebrity, ‘well-known for being well-known.’ This is ultimately disturbing to Stein, who wants her work to remain the root of the public’s interest in her. She describes how the electronic sign announcing her arrival is ‘upsetting’, raising questions related to aesthetic, cultural and economic values and ultimately her own ‘recognition and non-recognition’ of herself.

AB - Literary scholarship provides ample exploration of Gertrude Stein the experimental writer and her artistic coterie circles, largely focusing on her early limited-circulation publications and her Paris salon, but is also beginning to establish a clear outline of Gertrude Stein the celebrity and her mass markets, particularly those based in America. This chapter will focus on the moments when the two Steins met one another – first, in the reception of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, but more particularly in the circumstances when Stein arrives in Times Square to see a moving electric sign announcing, ‘Gertrude Stein Has Arrived’, as related in her second autobiography. This sign is more than an illustration of Stein’s celebrated ‘arrival’ in 1934 – it is a disturbing instance of the power of the proliferation and replication of aura in an age of celebrity. The chapter will use Walter Benjamin’s contemporary essay, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ (1936) to explore the mass market reproductions of Stein’s artistic aura, first examining how her unique prose style – an example of authorial self-projection, or imprimatur – is copied and parodied in newspaper columns and advertisements, but also how her name and image become separated from her work, and she becomes, in the words of Daniel J. Boorstin’s definition of celebrity, ‘well-known for being well-known.’ This is ultimately disturbing to Stein, who wants her work to remain the root of the public’s interest in her. She describes how the electronic sign announcing her arrival is ‘upsetting’, raising questions related to aesthetic, cultural and economic values and ultimately her own ‘recognition and non-recognition’ of herself.

U2 - 10.1057/978-1-137-55868-8

DO - 10.1057/978-1-137-55868-8

M3 - Chapter

SN - 9781137558671

SP - 133

EP - 155

BT - Celebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature

PB - Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.

CY - London

ER -

Rosenquist R, Franssen G, (ed.), Honings R, (ed.). Production and reproduction: Gertrude Stein (1874-1946). In Celebrity Authorship and Afterlives in English and American Literature. London: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. 2016. p. 133-155 https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-55868-8