Gertrude Stein and Wallace Stevens: The Performance of Modern Consciousness (Hardback) book cover

Gertrude Stein and Wallace Stevens

The Performance of Modern Consciousness

By Sara J. Ford

© 2002 – Routledge

146 pages

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Paperback: 9780415803625
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This book traces the presence of the theater, both as an abstract concept and a literal space, in the plays and poetry of Gertrude Stein and Wallace Stevens as it attempts to explain the parallel depictions of consciousness that are found in both authors' work.

Literary modernists inherited a self that was fallible, a self that was seen as an ultimately failed gesture of expression, and throughout much modern literature is a sense of disillusionment with more traditional notions of selfhood. As more conventional ways of thinking about consciousness became untenable, so too did conventional models of artistic expression.This book shows how Stein and Stevens provide powerful examples of this modern attempt to stage the new subject.

Table of Contents


Chapter I: Consciousness Ungrounded: William James and Modernist Expression

Chapter II: Relationships in a Landscape: Stein's Operas and Plays and the Investigation into Modern Consciousness

Chapter III: Language as a Blind Glass: Artistic Expression as Performance in Stein's Tender Buttons

Chapter IV: Stevens' Verse Plays: The Drama of the Mind

Chapter V: Willful Illusions: Stevens' Poetry and the Performance of Poetic Consciousness




About the Series

Studies in Major Literary Authors

Studies in Major Literary Authors features outstanding scholarship on celebrated and neglected authors of both canonical and lesser-known texts.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / General