Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Actually, I'm Gertrude Stein

“There is not much future in men being friends with great women although it can be pleasant enough before it gets better or worse, and there is usually even less future with truly ambitious women writers.” – A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

When Hemingway writes of Gertrude Stein, he sounds like he’s finally getting a word in edgewise and has to do it through a memoir. Approaching the end of A Moveable Feast was almost painful, as I relished every page, but a commentary on that book is perhaps best left for another time….

The election depresses me. When I visit other art blogs and read casual or not so casual political pitching, I don’t like it, so I’ve kept my mouth shut. But everyday the news seems to be worse and worse, especially as regards to how women are playing on this field.

For distraction and comparison, I check out Mad Men and Perry Mason. In an AMC promotional video (courtesy TV Squad), the cast and creators of Mad Men tell us that all women (and their men) of the early 60s saw women as either Jackie or Marilyn. You wanted to be either one or the other, this was the sum total of your aspirations.

Then a cute poll was shelled out: Who do you want to be?

- I am Jackie.
- I am Marilyn
- Actually, I’m Gertrude Stein.

And shitdamn, if Gertrude Stein isn’t hands-down winning! It was the best news I had this morning. Turns out we really don’t want to be the Whore or the Madonna but a great writer and tastemaker. Maybe not a great looker, but that’s who we want to be. And a woman to give Hemingway a hard time.

As of September 2, 10:20AM:
For the women: are you a Jackie or a Marilyn?
Actually, I'm Gertrude Stein


nod said...

Eva.. just had to ask.. which one do you think is the "Whore" and which is the "Madonna"? I thought Palin did a good Gertrude last night.. but I was never a fan of Gertrude or her anger... I always liked her friend Alice much more... life is better with good food ;)

Anonymous said...

Fact is I spent more time with that Toklas cookbook as anything by Stein!..... But the poll didn't give us much choice....