More famous while alive for her outlandish personality and the artistic salon she hosted in Paris than for her writing, Gertrude Stein is now regarded as one of modern literature’s most influential experimentalists. (Ironically, her best-known book, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), is her most traditional.) Among the innovations she hoped would refresh language and draw attention to its potential as music are the multiple repetition with slight variations of short, seemingly nonsensical sentences and the generation of meaning from mosaics of suggestive imagery.
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