Masters Thesis

The influence of Gertrude Stein on Hemingway as a writer.

About Gertrude Stein there has been much controversy, little competent criticism, but many prejudiced utterances. There has been extravagant praise and damaging accusation. Was she a literary fraud? A clinical case of megalomania? Just a rich and garrulous dilettante? Merely a controversial name? Or was she, in fact, a genius? Sinclair Lewis openly accused her of "conducting a racket." Even Leo, her own brother, after many years of amiably tolerating her eccentricities, dismissed her as a woman of small consequence and little talent. Her work, he said, was God-awful rubbish. B. L. Reid, in his recent book, Art by Subtraction, suggests that Gertrude Stein was a "minor writer rather than a major one," a "follower of a bypath rather than of the high road to literature." In the next breath, however, he suggests that perhaps one cannot evaluate Gertrude Stein at all, that perhaps she is "beyond us" and that the "critic's job is simplified into one of awe."