Hemingway on Stein (5/8)

While writing The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway makes sure to include Gertrude Stein in his epigraph talking about the "Lost Generation." Hemingway, in A Moveable Feast, describes Stein as always "want[ing] to know the gay part of how the world was going; never the real, never the bad" (25). It is a state of denial that she is in--I can't say that I blame her, though. Hemingway points out his youth in comparison and that it gave him something comic to say no matter the situation. I wonder how it affected him to think in such terms around Stein. 

The conversation with Stein also has a degree of surprise for me when she discusses other literary works. It is something I would like to think about with others. She calls Huxley "dead" and says of his works that "It is inflated trash" (26). Hemingway is drawn to these darker, more apocolyptic texts. Stein suggests something interesting and "marvelous in its own way" (27) by Marie Belloc Lowndes. From a brief Google search, Lowndes is a writer of excitement and psychological interest. Lowndes was a very prolific writer; I think she specialized in thrillers. There is a bizarre way that these two stories seem to reflect the readers' minds. Stein reads things for excitement and entertainment (along with enrichment), but Hemingway seems to be focused on dark and wicked potentials.

One passage that he wrote struck me as distinctly similar to Stein's work in Camera Work was on page 28 of A Moveable Feast as he discusses how Stein spoke about Ezra Pound. He writes, "That he was a great poet and a gentle and generous man and could have accomodated himself in a normal-size chair was not considered" (28). It is a story of Pound's accidental breaking of a chair, but it so readily brings to my mind the way Stein wrote about Picasso and Matisse. I can't put my finger on the exact reason, though. It is just something that I can't stop noticing when I look back at it.