Gender and Genre in Gertrude Stein
Greenwood Press, 1998 - 145 páginas
Readers bring to a text a set of expectations often relating to its genre. A novel, for example, is expected to share certain features with other novels, which is why it is not considered a play. But these distinctions are difficult to make, and writers often depart from generic conventions for the sake of being innovative. Generic expectations also closely relate to gender. For example, an autobiography may be read in light of the gender of the author. Like various genres, gender brings with it certain expectations, which are largely determined by social values. Some individuals transgress the conventional bounds of gender roles, just as some works of literature go beyond traditional generic frames.
The works of Gertrude Stein typically challenge the expectations of both gender and genre. As a lesbian writer, Stein was acutely aware of society's expectations with respect to gender. And in her writings, she is clearly concerned with genre. She explicitly calls many of her works plays, operas, or novels intending them to be read with certain generic expectations in mind only to transgress traditional generic expectations. Gygax explores why Stein was inevitably confronted with questions about gender and generic categories. Including a number of Stein's theoretical statements about writing, this insightful book illuminates the relationship between gender and genre in her works.
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