Gertrude Stein—how we’ve been told you are obtuse, impossible, all but meaningless, when in fact you are loving, inventive, playful, sexual, flirtatious, silly. Why has it been easier for the world to imagine Gertrude as a stern remote genius than as a woman of brilliant mind and wit passionately in love with another woman?
Wonder why indeed.
There is a wonderful (though out of print) collection of Stein’s love notes to Alice, edited by Kay Turner: Baby Precious Always Shines, You can find used copies easily enough. The notes are handwritten, so some words aren’t entirely clear and are marked with brackets and best guesses. Here’s one from the collection:
Dear dainty delicious darling, dear
sweet selected [enemifier?] of my soul
dear beloved baby dear everything
to me when this you see you will
have slept long and will be warm
and completely [loudly?] loved by
me dear wifey, [your?] baby
I am buying the book as I type. (The magic of the internet…)
Have you read Dickinson’s love poems to her neighbor Susan?
To own a
Is of itself
a Bliss –
me in this!
loves – is a
could displace –