Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
October 21, 2017, 02:28:59 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: As you may have noticed, this is a very old backup, I'm still working through restoring the site.  Don't be surprised if you post and it all goes missing....
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 ... 56 57 [58]
  Print  
Author Topic: Poetry  (Read 7474 times)
0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.
pugetopolis
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2513


Ink Inc.


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #855 on: June 21, 2008, 06:08:14 AM »

http://listproc.ucdavis.edu/archives/stein-l/log0805/0141.html

question about a prose piece

This fascinating post by a writer in Hawaii included a Steinese “continuous present” moment within his
Detective novel, Living in Darkness. 

http://tinyurl.com/66uvw3 (online Googlized Book version)

Discussions followed about Steinese “form” and BOTDRF ("Blood on the Dining Room Floor") Gertrude's anti-detective story.

http://www.gertrude-stein.com/Book.PDF

 
« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 06:20:25 AM by pugetopolis » Logged

“Other people's obsessions
are more often funny than tragic.”
—Vincent Canby, The New York Times
pugetopolis
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2513


Ink Inc.


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #856 on: June 21, 2008, 07:48:23 AM »



Blood on the Dining Room Floor (1933)

http://www.gertrude-stein.com/Book.PDF

For those interested in detective fiction (like Graham Greene’s The Third Man and Ministry of Fear), the choice of Gertrude Stein’s BOTDRF may seem like a rather queer read.

Stein wrote BOTDRF during the summer of 1933 in Bilignin after the successful and lucrative publication of TAOABT (The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas). 

The form of TAOABT was meant to make money since up until then Gertrude and Alice had a small income and they had to sell a Picasso just to get Gertrude published thru Plain Press—their own “samizdat zine” years before Stein became a Blog unto herself.

I’d been reading Ulla Dydo’s The Stein Reader & was used to being somewhat “flummoxed” by Stein’s style. So I was pleasantly surprised to see BOTDRF was written in the same pleasantly chatty style as TAOABT. At first that is…

But then the usual Steinese ennui & excruciating cognitive dissonance set in. This wasn’t your usual “detective story.” In fact, the more I read it the more I realized I’d been had.

Literary critics & the usual online clone Lit Crit snippets didn’t help much. So I resorted to my usual indolent ploy—Ventriloquist Voyeurisme Inc. or “V & V.”

I slowly patiently bookwormed my way thru Stein’s BOTDRF—taking notes & doing my own version of the rather confusing plot-less anti-story detective story.

My version was entitled Blood on the Cement Courtyard (BOTCCC) and for an enticement I included a frightening murder scene “continuous present” moment within the staid ho-hum True Detective pulp fiction fiasco I’d invented. Similar to the one in Living in Darkness.

By the time I was done with the piece & after posting it for the poor victims in the innocent Stein-L group to read—I was so disgusted with the story & my notes that I composed a brief essay called “How Not To Write a Detective Story.”

Since they’re probably sick of my inane writings over there in Stein-L, I’ll post them here instead. Although I’m sure my days are numbered in both literary venues.   


 Grin Grin Grin

« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 08:13:30 AM by pugetopolis » Logged

“Other people's obsessions
are more often funny than tragic.”
—Vincent Canby, The New York Times
pugetopolis
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2513


Ink Inc.


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #857 on: June 21, 2008, 08:10:34 AM »



Blood on the Cement Courtyard

[Based on Gertrude Stein’s murder mystery story
“Blood on the Dining Room Floor” 1933]

My husband Monsieur Pernollet and I ran a hotel.

Monsieur Pernollet was a fifth-generation hotel-keeper. For years we worked day and night.

We never went anywhere—never left the hotel. We were prosperous—I thought we were happy. But then one day we weren’t happy—neither my husband or I. We both knew why—but we didn’t talk about.

Gertrude do you understand?

Gertrude and Alice found out why I was unhappy. My husband was being unfaithful—right there in the hotel. Where we worked and ate and slept. I was perplexed and preoccupied naturally. Who wouldn’t be?

Was that why I sleepwalked at night? They say I sleepwalked upstairs on the top floor—but I don’t think so. I never sleepwalked—I was a sound sleeper.

All this was five years ago. My name was Madame Pernollet back then—but what is it now?

And now nothing is happening. This is what happened.

They all cried. I was dead but did I die? Or was I murdered? Minding inside my own mind—withering inside my own mind.

Do you know what I mean? It was I who was dead—there’s nobody else that’s dead. It was me who was found dead and not in my bed either.

They found me dead down below. On the cement courtyard. I’d fallen from the window they said. Anderson and his sister.

A sinister story of corruption. The dirty deed done brother and sister stay. She marries Monsieur Pernollet. And both weasel their way into the prosperous Pernollet business.

Alexander had prepared for the priesthood—the priesthood of death. He murdered his own father to take over the family horticulture business himself. The father was a poor businessman and was spoiling everything for the children’s future.

Gertrude do you understand?

They say it was an accident? Or maybe a suicide? They covered it up. Anderson said I sleepwalked. Did I? Am I sleepwalking now—because I’m dead? He said he never slept—that’s why he heard me sleepwalking.

Why did he need an excuse? An explanation for the tragedy? His story was accepted. The verdict was accidental death. Gertrude was suspicious. It was all too coincidental.

Sleepwalking strolling—not seeing shapes in darkness— strolling floating sleepwalking—ignoring them not concerned with them—sleepwalking strolling floating—dark shapes moving down around me—sleepwalking in the darkness—  knowing somebody’s near me—Anderson and his sister—I can smell his sweat—smelling blood tasting blood feeling blood—it’s my blood I’m smelling bleeding—hearing breath stop—feeling them bludgeoning me—with a hammer and a crowbar—knowing it’s Anderson and his sister coming at me—their hands grasping me now—laughing at me grinning at me—striking my head more than once—coming down hard on me—over and over again—over and over again—feeling my skull crack open—my brains oozing out of me—feeling my skull crack open—all of me coming out of me—trying to wake up and run from them—trying to get up and struggle away—but it’s like dreaming and not being able to run—the harder I try to flee—the slower things get around me—one more time the hammer—then the crowbar—and then they’re done—they have plans for me—even now that I’m dead—picking up in the bloody linen—covering me up so I won’t bleed on the floor or bed—my brains are oozing out of me—I’m still trying to get away—but I can’t move or run or walk—it must be a nightmare—they’re dragging me down the hallway—my head bumps along on the floor—the windows open and I can feel the cool night air—lifting me through the window—not even pausing to say a prayer—sliding me out the window—letting me fall slowly down the three stories—floating slow-motion like a goose-down pillow—turning head over heels—falling like an old sac of potatoes—gathering speed as I’m falling and falling—until suddenly my head hits the hardness—the cold hard cement of the concrete courtyard—smashing down on the cement all of me—like a doll with legs akimbo—lying there in the night stillness—not a cricket or frog or dog barking—just me lying there on the cold cement—slowly bleeding to death—cracked bones and smashed face—skin shoved back on my elbows—my knees can’t help me bend anymore—my legs can’t help me run away—and nothing happens—not a peep—until dawn and people stare at me—some running away in fear—others staring and shrugging—but for me I’m still running away—like I’m in slow-motion—I’m stumbling and falling and knowing and wanting—not to be there anymore—even though it’s dead time—not my time—I’m still trying to get away—I’m still sleepwalking even now—anywhere everywhere—murdered.

In Everybody’s Autobiography things are different. A local citizen gets worried about me and calls Gertrude. She shows up—but they’ve taken my body away.

There’s still blood on the cement courtyard. She arrives at the scene of the crime—nobody knows what happened. Nobody wants to know what happened—it’s an uneasy situation.

It’s a murder mystery—there’s been a murder. Nobody seems to want to know who the murderers are though. Anderson invents excuses—telling them I was sleepwalking.

Maybe I was. Maybe I wasn’t. Am I sleepwalking now? Am I imagining it? Was I was imagining it—when they pushed me out the window?

Or did they smash my skull in my sleep—did I dump myself out the window? I don’t remember—nobody wants to remember. Is there a detective in the house?

Everybody knows the difference between day and night. I used to know—but not anymore. Everyday is night to me—it’s Night of the Living Dead. They said I was sleepwalking. I never sleepwalked before—but what difference does that make?

Gertrude do you understand?
 
In the country everybody knows everybody else—but it really doesn’t make any difference what’s said. Not if doesn’t make any difference in Paris. Or anywhere else.

Everybody says that nobody knows even if everybody knows. There’s no difference between knows and no’s.

Then there was a funeral. Gradually everybody forget.

Monsieur Pernollet loved Anderson’s sister who worked at the hotel. She liked everybody she said—especially the hotel-keeper. A hotel-keeper needs admiring—especially if he’s the cook. Two hundred people in a restaurant is a lot of work.

It’s strange how everybody occupies their time—very strange and very difficult and very hard and very much a lie.

It’s because they murdered me that I won’t go away.

There’s no difference between a live person and a dead person—not when the murderers are still alive here in this hotel that was mine.

This wasn’t a crime—that’s what they say.

How do you cry about a crime? Nobody committed?

But now Anderson doesn’t sleep anymore. It’s amazing how little sleep he gets. After the murder, he sleeps less and less. It’s hard to know how much sleep is slept in bed. He says none—everybody knows he doesn’t sleep. That’s how he knows I sleepwalked that night—that’s what he tells them.

Nothing’s surprising—only coincidences are. Facts aren’t surprising—only coincidences are. That’s the reason murder is so surprising—there’s always a surprising coincidence with a murder.

There are so many ways in which there is no murder.

Do you begin to see how surprising it all is—Anderson doesn’t sleep—I’m supposed to be a sleepwalker—he was awake when I fell out the window—down onto the cement courtyard—smashing my head?

This is how it’s done in the country—after awhile you don’t wonder why. They shut the door. If they don’t—it’s best they did.

It’s easy to have cement around. A hotel needs cement—for the building, the equipment, for cars & busses. It looks strange in the country—but mud shouldn’t be tracked into a hotel. A hotel has to be clean and free of dirt. It was a large hotel—it had a large cement courtyard.

A marriage can fail—a wife can be murdered. Alexander thought that way—he’d already killed his father. He hoped someday to be rich—that’s what happens in the country.

Now then he thinks he will try. Murder me and pretend it didn’t happen. It gives Monsieur Pernollet peace of mind—the whole thing that didn’t happen makes him happy. He marries Anderson’s sister—they’re so very happy.

Things change more in the country than the city. A family in the country changes more than a city family. If things didn’t change in the country—there wouldn’t be any butter and eggs. Things have to change in the country.

Gertrude do you understand?

Nothing happens in the city—the city just says what happened in the country. The breaking up of families,
the spoiling of sons and losing of daughters, the killing of mothers and the marriage of fathers. It happens quickly in the country—and nobody wants to know.

It doesn’t matter considerably. You could be pleased or angry with Alexander—or even poignantly close. Or think he’s poignantly close.

Nobody’s interested in Alexander—or the murder. The hotel is what’s important. The jobs and money. And yet everybody is interested. Isn’t this curious—nothing is more curious than an unsolved murder.

But really the thing to do is to describe how people come to.

They talk about me being dead. As if I were murdered—and they all cry. They know I’d be still alive—if they were there. That’s what they say—they could of made a difference. If they were paid—paid to be there.

But the hotel-keeper didn’t have anything to do with it. And neither did Alexander—the eldest son of the horticulturist. They had nothing to do with it—besides there’s lots of jobs at stake. The cooks, the maids, the staff, the guests coming & going.

Some say it was too easy—they don’t believe it. O dear not to believe it at last—that I was sleepwalking. But they don’t say anything—about me being murdered in my sleep.

Should I believe it—I was sleepwalking? I’m sleepwalking now aren’t I? I’m willing to go to sleep—does anyone will themselves to sleepwalk? But when married women are betrayed—don’t they sleepwalk during the day? Not wanting to believe it—willing to be in a sleepwalking daze?

In cases of sleepwalking—do they hover? Do they glide—sliding unknowingly down hallways—thru windows to their deaths?

Alexander and his sister are the only witnesses.

I sleepwalk often—when Monsieur Pernollet was young. I was happy—I felt like I was sleepwalking when he held me tight. I hovered and glided—I was on Cloud #9. Each of his words made me tremble.

Then there’s the hotel. Alexander’s never seen there—supposedly he’s sleeping. But Alexander never sleeps—except with young married women. In a hotel full of guests—they’re welcome always welcome.
Alexander is accused but nobody says anything. It’s allowed to pass—as if nothing is very surprising. That makes it all not a coincidence—so it can’t be a murder. It’s no surprise—accidents happen. Even planned ones.

This relieves the crime. If it’s no surprise and nobody knows anything about it—then no crime has been committed. There’s no surprise or coincidence—it’s just a succession of things. Nothing really happens—nothing happens if nobody is remembering anything.

They know more about not-knowing than knowing—just think how much they don’t know about my murder. They spend all their time trying not to forget—forgetting is the name of the game.

And so that’s why I’m dead—the dead wife of the hotel-keeper. And everybody knows where everybody was and what everybody was doing. Everybody is pleased and comforted with the answer. It was accidental—even tho they know differently.

So that’s the way it is—Gertrude.

Do you understand—does it really matter?

« Last Edit: June 21, 2008, 08:44:33 AM by pugetopolis » Logged

“Other people's obsessions
are more often funny than tragic.”
—Vincent Canby, The New York Times
pugetopolis
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2513


Ink Inc.


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #858 on: June 22, 2008, 01:47:56 AM »



Living in Darkness

“There are so many ways
in which there is no crime.”
—Gertrude Stein, Blood
on the Dining Room Floor

Dear John Roynesdal,

I’ve been thinking about it—
Living in Darkness and your
Scary frightening Steinese
Continuous-present moment…

Detective murder mysteries—
More than just a Novel for
Anybody who’s been rolled in
The park by ruffians after dark…

Nobody really knows—
How it feels to cruise in fear
And lust lost in some Garden
East of Eden in Hawaii…

The Steinese moment—
Nothing’s more immediate
Than living in Darkness
Beneath Diamond Head…

http://listproc.ucdavis.edu/archives/stein-l/log0805/0141.html

http://tinyurl.com/66uvw3


Logged

“Other people's obsessions
are more often funny than tragic.”
—Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #859 on: June 22, 2008, 11:46:19 AM »

I like the sense in your turnaround of BOTDRF.  Instead of a detective story, it has now become a ghost story that is both wistful and eerie.
Logged
pugetopolis
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2513


Ink Inc.


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #860 on: June 22, 2008, 04:37:09 PM »

I like the sense in your turnaround of BOTDRF.  Instead of a detective story, it has now become a ghost story that is both wistful and eerie.

Thanks, Laurie. Gawd I’ve gotta do something with these summer blahs. Gertrude and the Stein-L group have pretty much sucked me into their BOTDRF Pulp Fiction True Detective Stories Labyrinth.

There’s a method to Stein’s madness tho—I’ve been reading Ulla Dydo’s Stein Reader & following her development from the maddening repetition of Making of Americans to lesbos Pink Melon Joy. The Long Gay Book was the clincher tho—talk about being out of the closet. I call her Mother Modernism now. Like Faulkner—she was out to wreck ‘em.

My twist on BOTDRF not very kosher—ghosts aren’t soup du jour anymore. Altho there was The Others & Solaris. I guess Stein was a great fan of Dashiell Hammett. They had a long discussion at a cocktail party about detective fiction. According to The New Yorker:

http://listproc.ucdavis.edu/archives/stein-l/log0806/0049.html

http://listproc.ucdavis.edu/archives/stein-l/log0806/0050.html
Logged

“Other people's obsessions
are more often funny than tragic.”
—Vincent Canby, The New York Times
pugetopolis
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2513


Ink Inc.


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #861 on: June 23, 2008, 02:11:27 AM »



A Gay Couple
—for Gertrude & Alice

"On a trip to Spain with Toklas from May
until the late summer of 1912, Stein
discovered the concrete, sensual world
in sexual fulfillment."
—Ulla Dydo, "A Long Gay Book,"
   A Stein Reader

Alice isn’t just listening—
She isn’t just listening to Gertrude.
She’s typing Gertrude each morning…
She even takes typing lessons to do it.
Alice does more than just typing tho.
She publishes Gertrude too.

Plain Editions is their press—
They sell a Picasso to do it.
Or is it a Matisse or Cézanne?
Alice does more than that tho—
More than just typing…
More than publishing & listening.

Heaven forbid!!!
Oh lordy—she Lifts Belly too!
Pink Melon Joy, oh my!!!
A Long Gay Book…
Think Miss Furr and Miss Skeene—
Only better… 


« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 03:58:08 AM by pugetopolis » Logged

“Other people's obsessions
are more often funny than tragic.”
—Vincent Canby, The New York Times
pugetopolis
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2513


Ink Inc.


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #862 on: June 23, 2008, 04:17:55 AM »



Marry Nettie

“The Italian futurist Marinetti
was not the subject of Marry Nettie,”
—Ulla Dydo, A Stein Reader

1.

Marry Nettie = Marinetti the Futurist.

Ulla Dydo says no (A Stein Reader).

Marjorie Perloff says yes (Wittgenstein’s Ladder).

It’s about more than Marinetti says Perloff…

It’s about gay marriage in Mallorca...

It’s about Marinetti the pompous futurist…

Author of “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Literature.”

2.

“Ho-hum”, says Stein…

“Let’s call Marinetti—Marry Nettie!!!”

“Marry who? Marry Nettie?”

“Which Nettie? My Nettie?”

“Marry whom? Marry Nettie?”

“Marry my Nettie? Oh shut up.”

3.

Stein does campy portraits.

“Marry Nettie”—why so obscure?

Perloff says—“It’s Stein’s satire & hyperrealism.”

Mocking Marinetti’s patriarchal pretensions.

“Why marry Nettie?” she asks.

When Gertrude & Alice can’t marry?

4.

Stein does campy portraits.

Like her portraits of Picasso & Matisse.

Using their own words & gestures.

To x-ray the artist’s identity.

“I’m losing my individuality!!!”

“This portrait is The Lost Weekend!!!”

Stein deconstructs Marinetti the same way…

5.

Marinetti claims a “revolutionary movement!!!”

A futurist roll call—“Man the torpedo boats!!!”

“Down with the Tango & Parsifal!!!”

His ho-hum male chauvinistic syntax.

Versus Stein’s tongue-in-cheek allusions.

Marinetti’s grandiose pronunciamentos.

Versus Stein’s clever portraiture…

“Marry who? Marry Nettie? Which Nettie?”

“My Nettie? Marry whom? Marry Nettie?”

6.

Stein does campy portraits.

She stages the subject’s self-exposure.

Stein uses Marinetti’s own words & gestures.

The Italian performance artist—in drag.

Marinetti as burlesque drag queen.

7.

Gertrude & Alice can’t legally “marry.”

Amongst the guests at the Mallorca Hotel.

But are they “marry-nettied” all the same?

Stein disrupts patriarchal language.

Stein dishes patriarchal poetry.

She submits “marriage” to comic critique.

8.

First they go shopping—fans & sugar bowls.

The hotel food is tasty—edible.

Life in Mallorca—rather boring, nervous, anxious.

With World War I going on forever…

Stein dishes Marinetti’s military futurism.

“We took a fan out of a man’s hand.”

The fan as traditional feminine emblem.

Usurped by Marinetti’s macho modernism.

Stein takes back the technology…

“Marry Nettie? Marry bombs, war, planes?”

“Hardly, my dear Marinetti…”

9.

“Marry who?”—Stein’s droll chant.

Turning the grand impresario—into marionette.

Subverting Futurism, Imagism, Vorticism…

Creating her own Sapphic Modernism.

“Seeing something—as something.”

Using everyday language—democratic speech.

Lifting belly—pink melon joy!!!

10.

Gertrude & Alice’s marriage counts:

“Lock me in neatly / unlock me sweetly”

“I love my baby / with a rush rushingly”

Stein’s own counter-Futurist manifesto.

YOU LIKE THIS BEST

“Marry Alice”—be my Autobiography.

Day-to-day Parisian marriage—27 rue de Fleurus.

Night-to-night love-affair—Bilignin romance.

Brief Mallorca vacation—so-so Spanish idyll.

______

Note: “Ironically Stein’s text can, as feminist critics
have suggested, be construed as anti-patriarchal,
anti-authoritarian, non-linear, and oblique lesbian
fiction. But in Stein’s case, such gender construction
is never the whole story.”—Marjorie Perloff, “Grammar
in Use,” Wittgenstein’s Ladder, Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 1996.




Logged

“Other people's obsessions
are more often funny than tragic.”
—Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Pages: 1 ... 56 57 [58]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!