Tender Buttons

Tender Buttons

Gertrude Stein / Feb 27, 2020

Tender Buttons A seminal text in the history of poetry and poetics Tender Buttons was originally published in and is considered one of the great Modern experiments in verse At one time or another it has been t

  • Title: Tender Buttons
  • Author: Gertrude Stein
  • ISBN: 9781110614622
  • Page: 211
  • Format: Paperback
  • A seminal text in the history of poetry and poetics, Tender Buttons was originally published in 1914 and is considered one of the great Modern experiments in verse At one time or another it has been thought of as a masterpiece of Cubism, a modernist triumph, a spectacular failure, a collection of confusing gibberish, and an intentional hoax Despite the fact that it was wA seminal text in the history of poetry and poetics, Tender Buttons was originally published in 1914 and is considered one of the great Modern experiments in verse At one time or another it has been thought of as a masterpiece of Cubism, a modernist triumph, a spectacular failure, a collection of confusing gibberish, and an intentional hoax Despite the fact that it was written by an ex pat American, the text of Tender Buttons has had massive infuence on Canadian poetry and poetics for nearly three quarters of a century Therefore, BookThug is pleased to produce the first Canadian Edition of this important text in a publication that pays homage to the original 1914 edition Gertrude Stein was born in 1874 and died in 1946 An American writer who spent most of her life in France, she was a catalyst in the development of modern literature and art Stein was the author of than 25 books of experimental writing, many of which were self published Tender Buttons was her second published work, and set the foundation for not only her own oeuvre, but for generations of writers to come She never visited Canada.

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      Published :2019-05-16T07:50:45+00:00

    About "Gertrude Stein"

      • Gertrude Stein

        Gertrude Stein was an American writer who spent most of her life in France, and who became a catalyst in the development of modern art and literature Her life was marked by two primary relationships, the first with her brother Leo Stein, from 1874 1914, and the second with Alice B Toklas, from 1907 until Stein s death in 1946 Stein shared her salon at 27 rue de Fleurus, Paris, first with Leo and then with Alice Throughout her lifetime, Stein cultivated significant tertiary relationships with well known members of the avant garde artistic and literary world of her time.


    1. Hope in gates, hope in spoons, hope in doors, hope in tables, no hope in daintiness and determination. Hope in dates.Okay, besides the semaphored helplessness of a giant ‘WTF’, what would be the correct response to these lines, and to Tender Buttons as a whole? Don’t look at me. I have no idea what any of this means, or whether it means anything at all. Maybe this prose poem is just a gourmet word salad, maybe it’s just a series of non-sequiturs to which I’ve foolishly assented. I don [...]

    2. Some call it nonsense, but if you derive pleasure from reading these vignettes, you can't understand how someone else doesn't.Here's how I see it: When we were learning our language, we learned how to link the word with the object the word represents. Gertrude Stein seeks to dismantle this link and consequently abstract our common understanding of language. While we learned to easily state, "this equals that," we should not simply place an equal sign between the descriptive word and the actual o [...]

    3. "A CARAFE, THAT IS A BLIND GLASS.A kind in glass and a cousin, a spectacle and nothing strange a single hurt color and an arrangement in a system to pointing. All this and not ordinary, not unordered in not resembling. The difference is spreading."okay. Gertrude Stein was once quoted as saying that Ernest Hemingway was "all bullfights and bullshit." That may be true, but you, madam, are just bullshit. At least Hemingway threw some bullfighting in every now and then. Read for: Modern Poetry

    4. Just when I begin to understand poetry, I run across a book like this. I did win it in a giveaway from City Lights Books, so I did volunteer for it. This is not your typical poetry. It is not Wordsworth, it's not Rimbaud, it's not even Ginsberg. If it comes close to someone's writing, I would have to say Burroughs. There is a disconnection within the work. The poetry is in paragraph form and structured much like Naked Lunch's* cut-up style. In Stein's cut-up style, common words are joined toget [...]

    5. Gertrude Stein drops acid and describes items from domestic life using language generally reserved for Georgia O'Keefe paintings. I frequently found myself getting impatient with it in that itchy skin sort of way where I just wanted it to be over, while at other times it felt like I was having a lovely swim in a sea of Stein's sensory perceptions. In short, I'm ambivalent. Here and there, it seemed to border on saying that heterosexual intercourse is sterile and/or inherently violent (without ou [...]

    6. This is kind of the literary equivalent of the guy who takes a shit and gets it put into a museum as sculpture, sneezes onto a canvass, etc. I can see the argument that it's "profound" in its implied questioning of "what really is art" but is there a future in it? Does anybody enjoy it?Well, judging from the reviews, some people do. I don't, but usually when I don't like something I at least have a clue as to why other people do. With Stein, I mean, it's nonsense, not the Lewis Carroll kind, but [...]

    7. This reads like a cut-up, that is to say that the words, the words, words and the, have been scrambled or reassembled to create striking instances of imagery juxtaposed in surprising and exciting ways and highly original and fascinating collocations as a result.This is a book to be appreciated in terms of its wordplay and harmonics rather than in terms of any strict notion of meaning. Just like in cubism, new and incongruous images and ideas are placed alongside more contiguous ones. If you are [...]

    8. tender: one who tends or waits uponone who attends or has charge ofa ship or boat used to attend to a larger ship or boat in various capacitiesan act of tenderingan offer of money in exchange for goods or servicesan offer of anything for acceptancean offer made in writing by one party to another to execute an order for the supply or purchase of goods or for the execution of workcurrency prescribed by lawliteral and physical sensessoft or delicate in textureof the ground, soft with moisture, rott [...]

    9. Mostly a collection of self-pleasuring on the topic of difference for its own sake. Some ear there for sound and concept, but mostly ringing as an overbearing attempt to be new. Stein's hatred of punctuation strikes one as an affectation, but then so do most of her opinions or ideas. I suppose Hemingway's sense that she was 'always right' stemmed from the lacking of his imagination (beyond that which bolstered his sense of self, and perhaps in that their true connection). Stein's importance to l [...]

    10. If I find myself long on sleep and short on hallucinations I open this little paperback and wait for the words to start pushing crazy around in my brain. Once thoroughly confused, I close the book, satisfied.

    11. "It was a garden and belows belows straight. It was a pea, a pea pour it in its not a succession, not it a simple, not it a so election, election with."Gertrude Stein's aim in writing Tender Buttons was, in some sense, to reinvent the English language, and the foreword explains that "the reader is forced to question the meanings of words, to become reacquainted with a language that Stein thought had become dulled by long use". In this sense her project is the literary counterpart of Stravinsky's [...]

    12. My copy of this book is permanently tucked into my messenger bag. I carry it everywhere I travel--in the city, outside of the country--and is one of those rare books that actually inspires me to write each time I open to any one of its pages. I love this most tender of buttons, in spite of the occasional racist phrase inside it. "Act as if there is no use in a centre"? Gertrude Stein 4-ever.

    13. Stein continues her experiments with a "continuous present" in this classic work written in 1912, emphasizing sounds, rhythms, and repetitions over and against "sense." To live in this state is "to begin again and again," to "use everything." She sums it up best: "The teasing is tender and trying and thoughtful."Recommended by Jack, Powells

    14. Sexy. But just read this for fun. This is a book that literature classes can't deal with--and will make literature classes something you can't deal with.

    15. Why did it take me so long to read this? Dumb dumb dumb. It seems impossible to think about latest manifestations of insistence on new kinds of sentences, genrelessness, etc without starting with Stein as the modernist G-mother. Wondering about the use of "is," assertion of total exchangeability of objects and sensation in the heart of the Western domestic space. Invites one to see every object as a commodity in an economy of universal exchange? And/or every word as changeable in an economy of E [...]

    16. "A table means necessary places and a revision a revision of a little thing it means it does mean that there has been a stand, a stand where it did shake."

    17. i really have no idea what the point of this was and what was being talked about and i’m just SO GLAD that i have a 30 minute presentation on it in two days :)))

    18. Well this isn't for everyone but like some of the others here on I have an unjustifiable love for Tender Buttons. Is it just a small selection of modernist gibberish? Maybe. Is there a great key that can be used to unlock significant meaning from Stein's famous tome of word salad? Maybe not. I don't really know. Keeping in mind her project (to paint with language like an artist just the words, not the grammar sort of) gives one at least some way to talk about the unusual poems here when discuss [...]

    19. I read Three Lives ages ago and found it to be modernism at its most sweethearted. This is modernism at its coldest.Sometimes Stein's peculiar linguistic juxtapositions serve her cause, but other times, it feels without purpose. At the height of the cubist era, after 150 years of miserable sentimental novels, this was probably a total breath of fresh air.I was really into Dada when I was a sniveling little punk-rock youth. I would have liked it more then. Now so many of these haute-moderne langu [...]

    20. NOTHING ELEGANTA charm a single charm is doubtful. If the red is rose and there is a gate surrounding it, if inside is let in and there places change then certainly something is upright. It is earnest.

    21. Lovely. Just lovely. The poems are a joy to read and Congdon's illustrations are gorgeous. Congdon's Esty shop is closed at the moment but when it reopens I hope to purchase a print from the book to hang in my guest room. This book would make an excellent gift for poetry lovers.

    22. Re-read it yesterday. On a second look, a few thoughts on the subject.I took my time this time, and I enjoyed being continually unsettled.I wish I could manage the same attitude toward life.

    23. -beskrivningen på den här boken kallar den en av Steins "hermetiska" verk, som i poesi-genren svår, introvert och oåtkomlig symbolism. Prosadikten handlar tyvärr inte om alkemiska symboler à la Hermes Trismegistos, utan om karaffer, tallrikar och rostbiffar. Köksbänkssymbolism. Detta upprörde många, bland annat den store dadaisten, Tristan Tzara som tyckte det hela var "barnsligt". Maken till att kasta sten i glashus, herr Tzara.Jag fick tyvärr inte ut så mycket av min läsning av St [...]

    24. I tentatively will say I liked this bookbut appreciating it does not mean understanding it.It feels like poetry but looks like a novel. It reminds you literature but has sharp edges like a cubist painting. It's experimental. Here's what says about it:"Tender Buttons: objects, food, rooms is the title of a 1914 book by Gertrude Stein consisting of word clusters chosen for their prosody, juxtaposed for the purpose of subverting commonplace dictionary meanings which Stein believed had largely lost [...]

    25. "Tender Buttons" is one of those poetry compilations that not only improves every time you read it, it becomes a new book. While I may have given this book a rating based on my own tastes, the truth of the matter is that "Tender Buttons" stands above any arbitrary system of judgment I or any other can invent. Gertrude Stein's trailblazing work of poetry facilitated the development of an entire sub-genre of the Modernism movement of the early twentieth century. The first work of literary Cubism, [...]

    26. Too much context about how difficult and frustrating it is to read Gertrude Stein led me to hold her off for too long until a couple days ago when I decided to approach the books I thought were "unfriendly" in order to get an idea of how I, too, can be "unfriendly" and it turns out that Tender Buttons is not that "unfriendly" at all. I really like it. Very quick read. Very song-like. Very much what sentences sound like once I note down my thoughts, which come with little punctuation, preferably. [...]

    27. I don't understand writers that says they are emulating Stein, but just do a really poor job rhyming. Stein writes sound as feeling. Sound as analysis. Association as perspective."Dance a clean dream and an extravagant turn up, secure the steady rights and translate more than translate the authority, show the choice and make no more mistakes than yesterday.This means clearness, it means a regular notion of exercise, it means more than that, it means liking counting, it means more than that, it d [...]

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