[PDF / Epub] ❤ The Making of Americans ✅ Gertrude Stein – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk In The Making of Americans, Gertrude Stein sets out to tell a history of a family s progress, radically reworking the traditional family saga novel to encompass her vision of personality and psycholog In The Making of Americans, Gertrude Stein sets out to tell a history of a family s progress, radically reworking the traditional family saga novel to encompass her vision of personality and psychological relationships As the history progresses over three generations, Stein also meditates on her own writing, on the making of The Making of Americans, and on America. I am all unhappy in this writing I know very much of the meaning of the being in men and women I know it and feel it and I am always learningof it and now I am telling it and I am nervous and driving and unhappy in it Sometimes I will be all happy in itp348This is not the novel I thought it was At least, I chose to read it as other This is the voice of uncertainty, of isolation and confusion, of a desperate attempt to understand through categorisation The narrator is caught betweI am all unhappy in this writing I know very much of the meaning of the being in men and women I know it and feel it and I am always learningof it and now I am telling it and I am nervous and driving and unhappy in it Sometimes I will be all happy in itp348This is not the novel I thought it was At least, I chose to read it as other This is the voice of uncertainty, of isolation and confusion, of a desperate attempt to understand through categorisation The narrator is caught between a desire to map out the kinds in people, to delineate and tell the arrangement of discrete pieces which comprise Being, and the recognition that this is impossibleAlas, I say then, alas, I will perhaps not ever really ever be knowing all the repeating coming out of each one.I am desolate because I am certainly not hearing all repeatingThere is a mania here And a despairIt makes me a little unhappy that everything is a little funny It makes me a little unhappy that many things are funny and peculiar and strange to me It makes me a little unhappy that everything and everyone is sometime a little queer to me It makes me a little unhappy that every one seems sometime almost a little crazy It does make me a little unhappy that every one sometime is a queer one to me It does make me sometime a little uncertain, it does sometimes make me very uncertain about everything and always then it is perplexing what is certain what is not certain, who is a queer one, what is a funny thing for some one to be wanting or not wanting or doing or not doing or thinking or not thinking or believing or not believingShe has always already failed in her self appointed task At times I thought of Not I by Beckett The voice here is certainly a speaking one Hearing it in my head as I read made the process muchbearableAlways repeating is all of living, everything that is being is always repeating,andlistening to repeating gives to me completed understanding Each one then slowly comes to be a whole one to me, each one slowly comes to be a whole one in me, slowly it sounds louder and louder and louder inside me through my ears and eyes and feelings and the talking there is always in me, the repeating that is the whole of each one I come to know around, and each one of them then comes to be a whole one to me, comes to be a whole one in me Loving repeating is one way of being This is now a description of such beingShe is a finder of patterns, a watcher and a recorder She is separate She is alone There is much anguish here, a fact which those who accuse her of arrogance or superiority simply fail to understand This is a text of madness A text of genius, yes, but not one in full control of itself What does it mean for someone without a family to write so extensively about the familial Remember Stein s mother died when she was 14, her father when she was 17 As a lesbian, of course, in 1900, she was severely isolated from ordinary men and women Her preoccupation with death, with dead ones at the end of the novel is surely no coincidencePerhaps no one ever will know the complete history of every one This is a sad thing Perhaps no one will ever have as a complete thing the history of any one This is a very sad thing.This is very discouraging thinking I am very sad now in this feelingAnd we are always in the moment in the melancholy, all these present participles, passive verbs, and intransitives means that this Being is always a doing, an extension out into time We are in the midst of a failing, we are listening to a failing and a breakingEvery one has experiencing in being one being living I am saddening with not feeling each one being experiencing as each one is having that living I am saddening with this thing There are so many being in living and there are so many that I am knowing by seeing and hearing being in living and each one of these is experiencing in being living and I cannot be feeling what way each one is experiencing, I who am suffering and suffering because of this thing I am in desolation and my eyes are large with needing weeping and I have a flush from feverish feeling and I am not knowing what way each one is experiencing in being living and about some I am knowing in a general way and I could be knowing in acomplete way if I could be livingwith that one and I never will livewith every one, I certainly cannot ever live with each one in their being one being living, in my being one being living I tell you I cannot bear it this thing that I cannot be realising experiencing in reach one being living, I say it again and again I cannot let myself be really resting in believing this thing, it is in me now as when I am realising being a dead one, a one being dying and I can do this thing and I do this thing and I am filled then with complete desolation and I am doing this thing again and again and I am now again and again certain that I will not ever be realising experiencing in each one of the very many men and very many womenThis was the hardest book I have ever read And, to put it in context, this means she is competing with Finnegans Wake, Miss Macintosh, Being and Time and the complete works of William Gaddis and Joseph McElroy.Its difficulty comes not from the language really, and certainly not the words which are short and simple but from the shear SLOG of the whole thing I was, at times, bored with it This may well be my fault It is a great work of art, for sure, and one I am very glad I read, but certainly not one I will be traveling through for a second timeThat is fails is part of the point, as should be clear from the quotes above, but at times it is simply too much to take Regarding all the repetition as this is probably the most commented upon factor , it is useful to note her own comments here From Stein s lecture On the Making of the Making of Americans I then began again to think about the bottom nature in people, I began to get enormously interested in hearing how everybody said the same thing over and over again with infinite variations but over and over again until finally if you listened with great intensity you could hear it rise and fall and tell all that that there was inside them, not so much by the actual words they said or the thoughts they had but the movement of their thoughts and words endlessly the same and endlessly different When I was up against the difficulty of putting down the complete conception that I had of an individual, the complete rhythm of a personality that I had gradually acquired by listening seeing feeling and experience, I was faced by the trouble that I had acquired all this knowledge gradually but when I had it I had it completely at one time Now that may never have been a trouble to you but it was a terrible trouble to me And a great deal of The Making of Americans was a struggle to do this thing, to make a whole present of something that it had taken a great deal of time to find out, but it was a whole there then within me and as such it had to be saidFrom page 343 an example of the difficulty and the beauty and the psychology philosophyThe way I feel natures in men and women is this way then To begin then with one general kind of them, this a resisting earthy slow kind of them, anything entering into them as a sensation must emerge again from through the slow resisting bottom of them to be an emotion in them This is a kind of them This bottom in them then in some can be solid, in some frozen, in some dried and cracked, in some muddy and engulfing, in some thicker, in some thinner, slimier, drier, very dry and not so dry and in some a stimulation entering into the surface that is them to make an emotion does not get into it, the mass then that is them, to be swallowed up in it to be emerging, in some it is swallowed up and never then is emerging Now all these kinds of ways of being are existing and sometime there will be examples of all these ways of being, now all these ways of being have it in common that there is not in them a quick and poignant reaction, it must be an entering and then an emerging mostly taking some time in the doing, the quickest of these then are such of them where the mud is dry and almost wooden, where the mud has become dry and almost wooden, or metallic in them and it is a surface denting a stimulation gives to them or else there is a surface that is not dry and the rest is dry and it is only the surface of the whole mass that is that one of which there has been any penetrating, and in some in whom the whole mass of the being is taking part in the reaction in some of such of them habit, mind strongly acting can make it go quicker and quicker the deep sinking and emerging This is then a kind of them, the resisting kind of them, and there are many kinds of that kind of them This is a very sure way of grouping kinds in men and women I know it and I see men and women by it Mostly to any one new it means nothing I will begin again then this explainingThere is also, as one would expect, some good gender politics in here too, and some excellent analysis of certain kinds of male ness From page 87A woman to content him could never be outside him, she could never be an ideal to him, she could never have in her a real power for him With men, outside him, there was for him a need in him to fight with them A woman could never be for him anything outside him, unless as one who could in a practical way be useful to him as his sister Martha had always been and now she had been useful to him and made a marriage for him, had found a wife for him who was pleasing to him, who had come out with him to Gossols to content him Such a woman as his sister was for him, was like any other object in the world around him, a thing useful to him or not existing for him, like a chair in his house to sit in or the engine that drew the train in the direction in which he needed just then to be going Such a woman as his sister Martha, as a woman could never be interesting to him, nor any other woman who remained outside him, either when she could be to him an ideal for him or a power in any way over him, not that some women with power in them were not attractive to him, but with such a kind of woman, and he met them often in his living and they had power with him, such a woman always did it for him by entering into him by brilliant seductive managing and so she was a part of him, even though she was apart from him, and so she had power with him Such a one until he would be an old man and the strength in him was weakening and the things he had in him did not make inside him a completely tight filling and so things outside him could a littleenter into him, until he would come to be an old man and the need in him would come to bea senile feeling, an old man s need of something to complete him, such a one could never come to be a wife to him, could never be a woman to be his wife and content him He needed such a woman as his sister Martha had found for him, a woman who was to him, inside him and appealing, whose power over him was neverthan a joke to him, who sometimes when a sense for beauty stirred in him was a flower to him, whom he often could forget that she was existing, who never in any big way was resisting, and so she never needed fighting, was always to himself a part of him and inside in him, and so in every kind of way she was contenting to himIn summary, if the quotes above have interested you, I would certainly suggest giving it a try it seems that either she clicks with a reader or she does notBut I certainly do not think her work should be ignored or casually dismissed Compendiusly Nipping Pastiche Clearseeing.I bought this two years ago as a summer read and I still haven t read it.There is a labored ugliness to Stein Anyone expecting a Buddenbrooks type novel should be forewarned Every one always is repeating the whole of them Combined with Stein s repetitious style of writing, it becomes extremely tedious The language is intoxicating Yawn I like my art post modern and marginally comprehensible.It s revolutionary prose and exactly what good writing sho Compendiusly Nipping Pastiche Clearseeing.I bought this two years ago as a summer read and I still haven t read it.There is a labored ugliness to Stein Anyone expecting a Buddenbrooks type novel should be forewarned Every one always is repeating the whole of them Combined with Stein s repetitious style of writing, it becomes extremely tedious The language is intoxicating Yawn I like my art post modern and marginally comprehensible.It s revolutionary prose and exactly what good writing should be Then it just became as tedious as my, always repeating is all of living, everything in a being is always repeating,andlistening to repeating gives to me completed understanding Isn t that the writerly voice of someone who just likes to hear themselves talk Boring tired she was cruising on her own self importance on this one well written, educating and entertaining tale crap I wonder if she was obsessive compulsive Repeating is often irritating.I am rereading as write poems inspired from various passages Worth the effort currently reading this bookDon t blame me if you love this book repetitive, nonsensical, tedious, at times appearing to be hundreds of pages too long Truly remarkable a functionless piece of art for shock value but have little use for her writing You re not mad at me are you That Stein was wealthy spoiled egomaniacal insensitive to others around her A number of crazy men and women are writing stuff the most eminent of the idiots I ve found myself drunkenly quoting And no matter how much effort she puts into precision, there is no end to what can be said about a family Sometimes I wonder if it s worth the pain and suffering It s like breathing.It s hypnotic, folding over itself and winding through people and thoughts and the lives they were leading Anyway, whew, I haven t tried to read her in years and years if you are okay skipping head summarized as great writing by a brilliant game changer I was so hypnotized by its repetitions that I actually began to feel as if I was living I just got bored Every word spanked me thats a summer job Repeating can be irritating.As I was saying, it is finished That Stein was a relentlessly arrogant person Adjectives don t really apply in this universe It could be I don t know my ass from a hole in my head As I was saying, he repeated them Over over dry and repetitive sentences seem vapid, useless, and self indulgent in the worst sense Repetition, of course, is the key aesthetic device Stein makes it redundantly stupid Whatever If you thought ullyses was difficult to read dont try this that includes the complete works of Plato Something continuously in the making Stein s truly mind bogglingly tediously self indulgent largely contentless The Making of Americans thought poetys could learn something from it. Perhaps the repetitions of a person can be used to define what s most common in that person Big deal So she likes the repeating, so she repeats, repeats All individuals essentially repeat others What a bore.the same five thoughts over and over and over and over.It s repetetive Gertrude Stein to the extreme.badunreadable I understand why a great many readers dislike this book nonetheless, I do not think their reactions to it could be even a scintillawrongheaded A few disjointed, inchoate thoughts This is one of the few books I have read to move beyond the language as process one might find in McElroy or theextreme passages of Pynchon it instead approximates somethingalong the lines of language as being Will is an illusion to the extent that humans are a composite of cellular interaction I understand why a great many readers dislike this book nonetheless, I do not think their reactions to it could be even a scintillawrongheaded A few disjointed, inchoate thoughts This is one of the few books I have read to move beyond the language as process one might find in McElroy or theextreme passages of Pynchon it instead approximates somethingalong the lines of language as being Will is an illusion to the extent that humans are a composite of cellular interactions molded by and entangled with genetics and environment My being is not something I decide My consciousness tells me I make decisions for myself, but the way my mind operates, the decisions within its realm of possibility phase space body without organs if we want to get Deleuzian, are predetermined by the being inside of me over which I ultimately have no control Of course Stein s sentences are maddening The circularity abstracts characterization into universal truths It s also poetry, pure and simpleer, gorgeously complex, rather Upon arriving in America, families see themselves divested of cultural particulars, increasingly with each successive generation This deculturalization is often resisted, but in the end it will prevail it is inexorable, inevitable Huh Just got this email from the Bezosian overlords at GR Hi Geoff,We re reaching out because your review of The Making of Americans was recently brought to our attention Since much of the review was copied from Nathan s review posted the year before, it has been removed from the site A copy has been attached for your reference.Reproducing content without the user s permission violates our Terms of Service Please refrain from posting reviews like this in the future.Sincerely, The Goodreads Huh Just got this email from the Bezosian overlords at GR Hi Geoff,We re reaching out because your review of The Making of Americans was recently brought to our attention Since much of the review was copied from Nathan s review posted the year before, it has been removed from the site A copy has been attached for your reference.Reproducing content without the user s permission violates our Terms of Service Please refrain from posting reviews like this in the future.Sincerely, The Goodreads Team What s up with that Who s this Nathan Certainly not the NR we know and love Is something conspiratorial up here Weird stuff, friends As I was Saying, The Making of Americans , y know tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCEreview of the Dalkey Archive s 925 pp edition of Gertrude Stein s The Making of Americans read from March 14, 2009 to May 22, 2009 70 days THIS IS THE CAPSULE REVIEW FOR THE FULL REVIEW SEE THE tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE s writing accessible thru my GoodReads profile or by going directly to finished it The entire thing As As I was Saying, The Making of Americans , y know tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCEreview of the Dalkey Archive s 925 pp edition of Gertrude Stein s The Making of Americans read from March 14, 2009 to May 22, 2009 70 days THIS IS THE CAPSULE REVIEW FOR THE FULL REVIEW SEE THE tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE s writing accessible thru my GoodReads profile or by going directly to finished it The entire thing As I was saying, it is finished As I was saying I read all of Gertrude Stein s truly mind bogglingly tediously self indulgent largely contentless The Making of Americans As I was saying, all 925 pages of it the 29 pages of the Foreword the Introduction I AM THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD TO EVER DO THIS I don t believe the author of the Foreword, William H Gass, has read all of it As I was saying, I don t believe the author of the Introduction, Steven Meyer, has done this thing As I was saying, I don t think the editor s of the Dalkey Archive have done this thing As I was saying, I don t believe it Maybe Alice B Toklas did it, maybe It is claimed that Alice B Toklas typed all this for Stein Wch isn t to say that Gass s Foreword isn t excellent, wch isn t to say that Meyer s Introduction isn t evenexcellent As I was saying, both are excellent Nonetheless, Meyer claims that the author narrator who, despite being unnamed, is perhaps Stein s most significant creation p xxvi Further, The narrator of The Making of Americans is as much a creation of Stein s as is Melanctha Readers are likely to forget this, however, and to attribute characteristics belonging to Stein to the narrator p xxvii As I was saying, Meyer s claim is that a narrator exists who isn t Stein While I m sure Meyer has great scholarly knowledge to back this up I m not convinced To me, Stein is clearly the narrator no effort is made whatsoever to create any presence contrary to this Stein s writing reminds me of 3 main things 1 A friend I had who began almost every conversation w You re not mad at me are you He had a problem His problem was that he had about 10 phrases that he repeated Over over As I was saying, he repeated them Over over He repeated his sentences over over One wasn t mad at him the 1st time he sd You re not mad at me are you One was probably not made at him the 2nd 3rd times that he sd You re not mad at me are you But as he repeated it over over one got increasingly mad I told you that I wasn t fucking mad at you but now I m getting pretty fucking sick of you asking me You re not mad at me are you so will you please shut the fuck up You re not mad at me are you 2 Speech Crutches 3 Charles Berlitz s bk The Bermuda Triangle Why B c in this latter Berlitz has a few chapters worth of material wch he somehow manages to stretch into an entire bk by just rephrasing the same old sensationalist but somehow simultaneously tepid crap over over Just like Stein The Making of Americans is 925pp If one were to synopsize its content it wd surely be less than 100pp, maybe less than 50 SO, let s give Stein the benefit of the doubt, let s say that the bk s content is NOT in its content but in the telling of its content What did I get from this telling That Stein was a relentlessly arrogant person assured that her blithering was somehow worth it I don t agree The Dalkey Archive shd be ashamed of killing off however many trees were sacrificed for the printing of this As I was saying P 198 Repeating then is always coming out of every one, almost always in the repeating in every one and coming out of them there is a little changing All the repeating in each one makes a history of each one always coming out of them There is always repeating in every one but such repeating has almost always in it a little changing, the whole repeating then that is always coming the whole repeating that comes out of them every one who has living in them and coming out from each one is a whole history of each one That cd be called the claim that justifies the whole structure of the bk Although I ve only presented one small paragraph here DON T GET THE IMPRESSION THAT SHE EXACTLY MOVES ON FROM THIS DEVELOPS IT I claim that she doesn t She makes a few shallow statements then permutes them They never become less shallow Perhaps the repetitions of a person can be used to define what s most common in that person Big deal A person has routines habits wch, somewhat, make who they are. But, coming out from each one is a whole history of each one Nah. I don t think so Everything is infinitely complicated, Stein makes it redundantly stupid For 925 pages Now every time I ll quote Stein here every time Gass does every time Meyer does the quote is fairly short out of context It s interesting by virtue of its exoticness , its unusual wording in contrast to Gass Meyer s my writing styles But, for me, that exoticness wore off quickly Like almost immediately Then it just became as tedious as my friend s You re not mad at me are you What do I learn from it That my friend had an abusive childhood that left him severely neurotic paranoid That Stein was wealthy spoiled egomaniacal insensitive to others around her Whatever If you re expecting some magnum opus of detailed classification of human psychological types, FORGET IT Stein s always beginning getting nowhere We learn that there are, according to Stein independent dependent dependent independent types the development that these categories get cd be reduced to a few sentences but, in The Making of Americans it goes on on for hundreds of pages There s resisting , there s attacking That s about it As I was saying, WHATEVER So she likes the repeating, so she repeats, repeats It reminds me of when I used to spend Thanksgiving at my mom s house The same guests wd be there, the food was great, the conversation abysmal Every yr I thought of just recording it playing it back the next yr Why B c i wanted to demonstrate that IT NEVER CHANGED As such, no one, except myself, every sd ANYTHING that wasn t just a formula, a fake form of conversation that just involved repeating whatever was appropriate to their Personality Type The MISSIONARY yes there was one spouted her missionary dogma, my mom was neurotic, etc. I stopped attending I keep alluding to Stein as a spoiled rich one whose lifestyle wd ve never enabled her to write this magnum poopus if she hadn t been taken care of her whole life, if she d had to actually do something useful for other people for a living on page 717 we get to one support for this argument I was paying that one for teaching me that thing, the thing I was needing just then Once I was saying to this one I will not be paying you to day, I will pay you in three weeks, you will wait till then, I said to this one This one said yes I will wait till then, but I am now asking you to tell me what you are meaning when you are saying to me and to yourself then that you have not money to pay me to day for this thing Do you mean that you cannot get the money to pay me to day, is that what you are meaning, that you cannot get it to day if you need it to day is that your meaning I said no that is not my meaning, I mean that I have not the money to day and that I will have it in three weeks that is what I am meaning by what I am saying You mean you will not get it to day because you are feeling you are not really needing to have it to day that is your meaning, said that one No I said that is not the way to understand this thing, I have not got the money to day and I will have in three weeks from to day, my brother sends me the money every month that is what I mean by what I am saying That is what my meaning is said that one, you are needing the money to day to your feeling, I am needing the money today to day we will say to my feeling but you do not need the money to day to your feeling, that is what you are meaning, money is a thing like working you are giving it when you are feeling that you are needing the money to be giving it, I am giving work because I am needing money to be receiving it, said this one I had a confused feeling then Money was something I was owning yes, but not owning because it was like being in myself that I needed to be living, having money was as natural to me then as being in living and I could not be spending in irregularly, I must spend it as an income, I had it yes but not give except when regularly I had some ETC In other words, Stein hires someone to do something, they do it, but then Stein postpones paying them b c she wants the money for herself If the person hired had broken Stein s arms it wd ve been fine w me but that person wd ve gone to jail Stein wd ve been legally the victim Too bad Stein didn t live in Mexico during the revolution NOW, here s the beginning of a section of her wikipedia entry Political viewsGertrude was politically ambiguous, but clear on at least two points she disapproved of unemployment when she had trouble getting servants Hobhouse, 1975, p.209 , and she had a general dislike of father figures Ibid As for the unemployed she said, It is curious very curious that when there is a great deal of unemployment and misery you can never find anybody to work for you But that is natural enough because if everybody is unemployed everybody loses the habit of work, and work like revolutions is a habit it just naturally is Ibid., with citations to Gertrude Stein s words in Everybody s Biography Are you picking up what I m putting down Stein was rich, Stein didn t work for it, Stein had time to jerk off w this self indulgent largely contentless writing all day long while Toklas did the work for her , yet, Stein had contempt for the unemployed A wise one Hardly It is curious that when there is a great deal of unemployment and misery you can never find anybody to work for you Maybe you shd ve tried paying them in a timely manner, asshole maybe you shd ve realized that you were a completely privileged largely stupid autocratic creep that these servants probably didn t want to be around you b c they cdn t stand being reminded so brutally of how unfair it all is Maybe they knew they d want to rip you to pieces serve that fat cat body to their starving children Maybe you wd ve deserved it Eat the Rich, Feed the Poor I remember seeing a movie about Stein in 1987 w my friends Laura Martha We were riding the bus yes, the public transportation system home I sd something to the effect of I think I wd ve hated Gertrude Stein but I like the writing that s still sortof true The writing still exerts a peripheral fascination w its oddness I might read something shorter by her But I highly DON T RECOMMEND The Making of Americans as I was saying Page 821 David Hersland knew some who were living while he was being living He was with some of them very often Some were pleased to be with him very often Some were pleased to be with him but they were not with him very often Some were certain that anyone might be pleased to be with him quite often Some were certain that not any one would be pleased to be with him very often Some certainly were with him very often Some were certainly very pleased to be with him very often Some were with him very often, some were not pleased to be with him very often Some were with him quite often, some of such of them were very pleased to be with him Some were with him quite often, some of such of them were not pleased to be with him Some were very certain that some one would be very pleased to be with him very often Sometimes some one was very pleased to be with him very often Isn t that the writerly voice of someone who just likes to hear themselves talk Over over DAVID HERSLAND KNEW PEOPLE SOME OF THEM LIKED HIM, SOME DIDN T It s that simple it s completely uninteresting to me It s at times like these when I long for Hemingway s sparseness A tiny excerpt from alotof the same When he was not such a young one sometimes he was with one Sometimes he was with six Sometimes he was withthan six Sometimes he was with two Sometimes he was with three DAVID HUNG AROUND PEOPLE IN VARYINGLY SIZED GROUPS Page 862 He was being living every day In a way he was needing to be certain he was being living every day he was being living He was being living every day he was being living He was being living every day until he was not being living which was at the end of the beginning of the middle of being living He was being living every day ETC HE DIED WHEN HE WAS MIDDLE AGED This wd ve beeninteresting to me if the reader wd ve discovered that, actually, David Hersland wasn t really alive, he was just a fictional character, but we were reading about him anyway or that he was a ghost like in Flann O Brien s great The Third Policeman But Stein didn t have the analysis of the wit for either of those so, instead, we get He was being living every day until he was not being living which was at the end of the beginning of the middle of being living What a bore This book is ostensibly a history of three generations of two wealthy families and everyone they ever knew or knew them , but anyone expecting a Buddenbrooks type novel should be forewarned Among other things, The Making of Americans is a philosophical and poetic meditation on identity, on what it means to be human living an everyday, mundane life.The narrator utilizes an ever growing list of categories to be able to understand all kinds of men and women, to someday write a history of all type This book is ostensibly a history of three generations of two wealthy families and everyone they ever knew or knew them , but anyone expecting a Buddenbrooks type novel should be forewarned Among other things, The Making of Americans is a philosophical and poetic meditation on identity, on what it means to be human living an everyday, mundane life.The narrator utilizes an ever growing list of categories to be able to understand all kinds of men and women, to someday write a history of all types of men and women These categories are mostly abstract, sometimes bordering on incomprehensibility For example hundreds of pages are devoted to describing independent dependent attacking vs dependent independent resisting being, the meaning of which can be intuitive at times but never adequately explained Dozens of different kinds of being are explored in the 900 pages Adjectives don t really apply in this universe Everything is recast into a state of being For example, characters are not sweet or sad or angry, they have sweetness in them, are sad ones, or have angry feeling.Repetition, or rather repeating always there is a focus on the present tense forms the basis of the narrator s knowledgeEvery one always is repeating the whole of them. And again always repeating is all of living, everything in a being is always repeating,andlistening to repeating gives to me completed understanding.Not only does one repeat oneself in all one s actions throughout life, all individuals essentially repeat others So it goes on always in living, every one is always remembering some one who is resembling to the one at whom they are then looking So they go on repeating, every one is themselves inside them and every one is resembling to others. This focus on repetition calls into question the very concept of individuality so central to American mythology.Repetition, of course, is the key aesthetic device As other reviewers have mentioned, the book can sometimes be infuriatingly repetitive, nonsensical, tedious, at times appearing to be hundreds of pages too long although by the same logic perhaps hundreds of pages too short Despite the size, this book probably contains fewer unique words than most books a fraction of its size Stein explains her radical method To be using a new word in my writing is to me a very difficult thing Every word I am ever using in writing has for me very existing being Using a word I have not yet been using in my writing is to me very difficult and a peculiar feeling Sometimes I am using a new one, sometimes I feel new meanings in an old one, sometimes I like one I am very fond of that one one that has many meanings many ways of being used to make different meanings to every one Sometimes I like it, almost always I like it when I am feeling many ways of using one word in writing Sometimes I like it that different ways of emphasizing can make very different meanings in a phrase or sentence I have made and am rereading.While this was a tough read, I was completely entranced for most of the book It s like sitting through one extremely long Morton Feldman piece limited sound palette, no real development to speak of, but with small changes, outbreaks of tremendous beauty On a superficial level it sounds static, but when listening closely to the detail, everything sounds brand new The book starts off concretely and slowly becomesandabstract until the end where the language is pure music.Surely this book should sit alongside Moby Dick as a classic of American literature Yes, this book really struck a chord with me And perhaps it did so because I don t see any of my Goodreads friends having read it yet, which is a problem I have connecting individually with a book when I see what others already thought about it or even that they did think about it first All I can then think of is someone else understanding it , enjoying itor in the case that I m enjoying it , the imaginary reader tears the book apart with their superior intellect, and I m an id Yes, this book really struck a chord with me And perhaps it did so because I don t see any of my Goodreads friends having read it yet, which is a problem I have connecting individually with a book when I see what others already thought about it or even that they did think about it first All I can then think of is someone else understanding it , enjoying itor in the case that I m enjoying it , the imaginary reader tears the book apart with their superior intellect, and I m an idiot for connecting with something so superficial and done better by someone else But this is no other reader s fault, this is simply my own inadequacy.Anyway Taking The Tunnel from the shelf and reading a page or two while making a cup of tea, I get it It s not meant to be inaccessible If you re not in the present, where the hell are you says Gass somewhere in there This is Stein s argument and my argument too Re reading my favourite section from Infinite Jest which is the second section of the book about the guy waiting for the female weed dealer yeah for me it s pretty much downhill from there I get it While Stein creates the encyclopaedic present, the idyllic present we should all be living in where every thing and every one is in tune, Wallace creates the horrific present through repetition because that s the kind of guy he was Proust creates an impressionistic present that it is a joy to live in so I m told I m not yet convinced, but Stein has armed me with new eyes Proust would approve This is how a book becomes an experience and not a story Halfway through In Search of Lost Time, I get it Does the title not mean trying to re create that history, that past, that lost time and re live it as if you were fully there, every detail and sense fully realised and experienced Gaddis pointed this out in The RecognitionsIs this maybe why everyone s enjoying Karl Ove so much Thanks so much Ms Stein The Making of Americans is the experience of I hear this, I really do a Joycean synechdoche in his case the argument that in the city of Dublin was the infinite, in Stein s case the idea that one family can represent all families, that one person can represent the entirety of people But this is not a book so much about insight or progression, it is an experience You will not find the same wealth of literary tricks that Ulysses contains, or the same depth of character this is about simplicity, concentration, understanding So perhaps it was a mistake of Stein s to compare this to Ulysses or In Search of Lost Time in that there is no relation in how these books carry out their argument.And I love the accessibility of the language it is never a chore to read, as it is about developing a mindset and not presenting the reader with new words or sudden events or important snippets of dialogue, just about full concentration, which requires no distractions Stein still wants to impress you in the immature way that most writers inevitably do, but she goes about it differently She goes about it through demonstration of her own endurance and her test of yours.Her choice of tense is very careful she was clearly aware of the effects outlined in this article Language and tense can affect your perception of time in this case, as much as we might wish to stray, we are brought back always to the present This is the experience of being in tune with the world, being in the present I see I m doing it too.Now, I didn t read every page I would only be trying to prove something if I did Similar to how I managed to perform my fave Marina Abramovic s separating rice from sesame seeds for only 2 hours instead of the 2 days she recommends, I think Well, that would take some practice, and I have enough of a flavour of your message to carry with me in everyday life The same happens here Skipping 200 pages I felt almost cheated in that I could barely recognise the difference between the pages But that s the thing it s about the experience of being purely in the present and in tune with all things, for which we use the present participle not always as part of the present continuous tense, but we try not to stray to convey this current thing that isn t a routine like the present simple, but what s happening right now a connection to everyone, every thing, every family and every person that ever is or was, the set of all people that ever have been or will be Stein understands people, and has achieved and immortalised this, and that s beautiful, but it takes practice if you want to take part As DFW put it this is unimaginably hard to do But for a busy life, a flavour of it is good enough and highly recommended.Not to say that it isn t quotable imagine these a hundred pages apart and you get the idea , and for those with the time the whole book begs to be read out loud Maybe try it out with these Men in their living have many things inside them, they have in them, each one of them has it in him, his own way of feeling himself important inside in him, they have in them all of them their own way of beginning, their own way ending, their own way of working, their own way of having loving inside them and loving come out from them, their own way of having anger inside them and letting their anger come out from inside them, their own way of eating, their own way of drinking, their own way of sleeping, their own way of doctoring They have each one of them their own way of fighting, they have in them all of them their own way of having fear in them They have all of them in them their own way of believing, their own way of being important inside them, their own way of showing to others around them the important feeling inside in them Every one then has in their living repeating, repeating of every kind of thing in them, repeating of the kind of impatient feeling they have in them, of the anxious feeling almost every one hasor less always in them To very many, to, sometimes any one would think, mostly every one some one s way of loving, some other one s way of keeping somethings and not other things, of throwing away some things and not other things, some one s way of buying some things and not buying other things is a foolish one Mostly every one finds that things other ones are wanting are very foolish things for any one to be wanting, for that one to be wanting, to be buying, to be keeping Each one has in him a very certain feeling of things any one having any sense in them should be wanting to have in living It is very hard for mostly every one to understand why another one has that way of loving, that way of being angry in them that they have in them Some try to understand the other one s way of doing these things but mostly every one finds it very puzzling What can any one want with buying, keeping, wanting any such thing each one says of something someone has been wanting, buying, keeping This is very common Very many could forgive some one anything excepting the way that one has angry feeling or injured feeling in them Some could let anything pass excepting the kind of way some one has of loving That gives them an angry feeling, that is all there is about it to them It is very common that some one could forgive anybody anything excepting the way they have of having angry or injured feeling in them This is very very common Some can never understand the queer ways in another one Mr Hersland always was saying to his three children that the ways they had in them were only habits, there was no need they should have these ways in them He had ways in him, they were him to him, the ways his children had in them were habits and it was not at all necessary that they should have any such habits in them Many think that some one, some others could do the work they are doing in some other way from the way these are doing their working As I am saying it is very, very common that some one could forgive some one anything excepting the way they have angry feeling, or injured feeling or loving feeling in them Perhaps no one ever will know the complete history of every one This is a sad thing Perhaps no one will ever have as a complete thing the history of any one This is a very sad thing I like this quote, because it s always been my theory of the biography or autobiography, and a reason I think a lot of people are sad is that they think they can control their own story, or even that their life is a story, a singular linear pathway of interesting things that happened to them that everyone would agree was their story That there are so many biographies and autobiographies, we can forget to question the very idea of them, of how we could completely record what a person does, who they were, that there would be some single idea or record of this Only the very lucky, I guess, getthan one biographer, and those biographers often spend their lives puzzled If you ever think I don t wanna end up like her, like him it s as if your life is a progression from past to future towards a happy or sad ending, and not just a series of beings in the present Or if I m approached by a certain type of person at a party, I get a little song and dance of stuff they do and things that happened to them geared up to impress me, and who can blame anyone for doing so Only what I think is interesting about me might not be what s interesting about me to them and vice versa it s something we have to feel out of each other, so the song and dance rarely laststhan an opening pitch and if it does, it s received by this face _ So me and my cousin right _ We got this motorbike right _ or my song and dance receives the same face So I read this book right _ So I wrote this book right _ So people suck right _ It is hard to know it of any one whether they are enjoying anything, whether they are feeling something, whether they are knowing they are giving pain to some one, whether they were planning that thing On the right Dalkey Archive edition with foreword by Wm Gass A really beautiful condition edition that came from anseller today I had downloaded a copy but the book is too massive to comfortably read on a screen and my library had no copies on the shelves So I got this for less than 10 Very happy with this It will take awhile to get through because Stein is not easy, but my comprehension of her is good now On the right Dalkey Archive edition with foreword by Wm Gass A really beautiful condition edition that came from anseller today I had downloaded a copy but the book is too massive to comfortably read on a screen and my library had no copies on the shelves So I got this for less than 10 Very happy with this It will take awhile to get through because Stein is not easy, but my comprehension of her is good now James Thurber said it best Anyone who reads at all diversely during these bizarre 1920s cannot escape the conclusion that a number of crazy men and women are writing stuff which remarkably passes for important composition among certain persons who should know better Gertrude Stein is the most eminent of the idiots. I bought this because John Ashberry put it on the reading list for a poetry workshop Why Because he loved Stein s language, and thought poetys could learn something from it At the end of the workshop, he admited that he d never made it all the way through it either.
- 926 pages
- The Making of Americans
- Gertrude Stein
- 08 August 2019 Gertrude Stein
- 1564780880 Edition Language English Other Editions 22