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Tender Buttons Paperback – November 13, 2013

3.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gertrude Stein (1874 1946) was an American-Jewish writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France. While living in Paris, Gertrude began writing for publication. Her earliest writings were mainly retellings of her college experiences. Her first critically acclaimed publication was Three Lives. Sherwood Anderson in his public introduction to Stein's 1922 publication of Geography and Plays wrote: For me the work of Gertrude Stein consists in a rebuilding, an entirely new recasting of life, in the city of words. Here is one artist who has been able to accept ridicule, who has even forgone the privilege of writing the great American novel, uplifting our English speaking stage, and wearing the bays of the great poets to go live among the little housekeeping words, the swaggering bullying street-corner words, the honest working, money saving words and all the other forgotten and neglected citizens of the sacred and half forgotten city.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 42 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 146623430X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466234307
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,541,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. PARMENTER on June 3, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I plugged all the way through this book because I wanted to say I had done it. It's astonishing that there could be so many sentences that don't actually make sense. Maybe TV is like that too. Every so often, Stein throws in a sentence that actually means something and it's like a bell ringing. I'm just glad I won't assign myself to read this again....but it IS fascinating.
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Gertrude Stein wished to advance the art of prose, and these vignettes certainly depart from traditional writing. At first they seem comically disorganized, but with reflective reading they convey something of the world view of a remarkable mind. They certainly reward the effort required to read them.
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At least, this particular philistine found it so. I'm no stranger to "difficult" literature. I can read Shakespeare without much bother. I made it through Ulysses...eventually. I've grappled with plenty of abstruse prose in my time. Tender Buttons, however, takes obscurantism to a whole new level entirely. The sentences bear no logical relationship to one another, at least none that I could see, and I wasted plenty of hours I will never get back sincerely looking. If you are uncertain about whether to buy this book, I suggest a simple test. Consider the following paragraph, taken from the first page of the book, under the heading 'Glazed Glitter':

"There is no gratitude in mercy or in medicine. There can be breakages in Japanese. That is no program. That is no color chosen, it was chosen yesterday, that sowed spitting and perhaps washing and polishing. It certainly showed no obligation and perhaps if borrowing is not natural there is some use in giving."

As I'm sure you can see, the phrasing used strongly suggests some kind of link between the second sentence and the third. If you can see what that link is (and, in particular, if you can explain what on earth 'Glazed Glitter' is supposed to be), then buy this book. I'm sure you'll take something useful from it. If, like me, all you can see is a random jumble of words, take my advice and buy something else.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Gertrude Stein is an amazing writer. Even though her work would appear to be nonsensical, it is important to read the words for pleasure only. It is not a story, but Gertrude is having fun with words. If you read this as sonic, you are reading it correctly. This is not a book for someone who wants a story or images that make linear sense.
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It is time to celebrate the One Hundredth Anniversary of the writing of Gertrude Stein's genius, Tender Buttons. And perhaps there is no better way to celebrate than with a discussion of the importance of the color yellow to modern and post-modern poetry. I counted no less than eleven instances of yellow in the three poems.

Stein writes in "Breakfast" from "FOOD", "Suspect a single buttered flower, suspect it certainly, suspect it and then glide, does that not alter a counting." How important is this color? This coloring? This flower of yellow? The yellow does not overwhelm, it is nicely dispersed throughout the poetry. But what does it mean? What magical images does it conjure up in our minds?

Other colors join in. Clear English vocabulary with a twist. Other colors join in. Images come first, narrative is secondary...

Tender Buttons was written 57 years after Les Fleurs du mal was first published in 1857. The two are more contemporaries than we are from them both. Gertrude Stein was a Giant. A monster perhaps, but a giant nonetheless. Tender Buttons is a masterpiece, not a game, a way of seeing the world and the burial of the body of the Dead! (In memory of Charles Baudelaire).

Get wet in a reign-fall of primary colors! See for yourself! Enjoy...

12/26/13... & what should be made of Stein's diction? Complicated or childlike? Enlightening or gibberish? Stein challenges our understanding of language as code for symbols. Stein writes in poetic "scat." It is not necessarily meant to say anything, but rather use words as symbols of images, images created & completed by the imagination of the reader.

Yellow means Liberty according to the 1830 painting by Eugene Delacroix titled, "Liberty leads the People.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like a great read, Tender Buttons delivers. It takes a bit to digest, but well worth the effort!
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I am sorry to say, probably due to my lack of literary intellect, that I did not enjoy the book. I do not understand what she is trying to say.
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