I Love Myself: Economies of Love in Gertrude Stein

Camelia Elias (Foredragsholder)

    Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentationForedrag og mundtlige bidrag



    In his influential book, A Lover's Discourse, Roland Barthes sets out to deconstruct the figures of speech which mark the language of lovers. As he deconstructs love by pointing to the tension in the universality of feeling vs. individual expression, he demonstrates not only that love is a solitary experience but that it is also the result of learned behaviour. Barthes's implicit claim is that one knows what loves is because one has read nineteenth century novels. In other words, if the experience of love happens, it does so on the basis of an economy: one appropriates other ‘love' texts which are then transformed into exchange currency. Thus what makes love creative, and ultimately a potentially unique experience, is its expenditure, not transcendental power. In the American context, the works of Gertrude Stein show a similar concern with writing which makes manifest contradictory types of love in connection with writing that is both autobiographical yet also written by everybody. This paper will explore Stein's statement that she writes for herself and strangers and look at other axioms of self-idolatry that she formulates with the purpose of creating a poetics of creative epistemology.

    Periode18 maj 2010
    BegivenhedstitelEagle and Maple Leaf 13, Renvall, Helsinki, May 18-21, 2010: null
    PlaceringHelsinki, Finland