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Three Lives Paperback – 2 Mar 2011

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: ReadaClassic.com (2 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611044855
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611044850
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,551,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Consists of three character studies of women; "The Good Anna"--a kind but domineering German servingwoman; "Melanctha"--an uneducated but sensitive black girl; "The Gentle Lena"--a pathetically feebleminded young German maid. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

In these three stories, Gertrude Stein put into practice certain theories about prose composition that paralleled the ideas expressed in the art of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
American, twenty something, Gertrude Stein wrote these 3 short ground breaking stories, based on painter styles, in 1905-1909 following an extended period in France meeting Picasso. She strikes me as being a very interesting person and the detailed introduction describes her, her writing and stylistic approach to the stories. Like all artists forging new fashions she had clearly demonstrated her `formal' literary talents, a la Henry James her contemporary, earlier (see QED later). Though she had trouble convincing publishers of the merits of her work eventually people appreciated the innovation. Her basic stories are about an individual woman and her relationships; the women would be relatively minor characters in other people's works and it would be fair to say her own lesbian relationship problems contributed to the value of her dialogue. Being Jewish Gertrude, presumably would have had a handle on prejudice, and this, to good or ill, is a clear discussion point on the first story as the `N' word is often used (though I feel the word was used fairly in context) with not infrequent relatively racist stereotype descriptions of the black and mixed race characters is obvious; however overall I'd say this doesn't detract from the writing's value and more to the point adds a certain `of its time' authenticity.

All the stories are based in Bridgepoint USA within the mainly German community. As they are quite short I won't say too much.

`The Good Anna' - Cezanne

Anna Federner, single in her twenties, is a forthright thinking housekeeper for Miss Matilda. Her friend is widow Mrs Lehntman who helps out women in trouble. Anna bounces between other families, eg Dr Shonjen, and friends as she tries to impose her will on them.
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Format: Paperback
The trouble with the avant-garde is that they set themselves up to say that anyone who doesn't like what they do is, well, totally square. At the same time, those who convince themselves that they appreciate it in the correct way can lord it over the rest of us naifs.

After having heard about this book for years from a dear Stein-devotee pal, I gave it a try. I must say that, not only was I disappointed in the so-called language experimentation, but I was just plain bored. I did not find the characters interesting; I did not get taken into their world view by the stream-of-consciousness writing style that is Stein's trademark; I did not feel like I learned anything. What truly convinced my pal that I am an artistic philistine - and I guess I am in her measure - is that I vastly preferred The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas, which was written for a popular audience (this is, clearly written and not with all the obscure and in my view idioitic word play).

Oh well, this review will no doubt get many "unhelpful" votes, but then, at least I looked at it honestly and and naively and gave it the effort an avant-garde classic deserves. NOT RECOMMENDED.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent product + smooth transaction = Happy customer.
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