Three Lives


Stein's first book, QED, went unpublished until after her death; she began another, The Making of Americans in 1903; she finished it in 1911, but it took until 1925 to see print.[4]

Stein's brother Leo, with whom she was living in Paris, encouraged her to attempt a translation of Flaubert's Three Tales to improve her French.[1] She began the project in 1905[4] under the title Three Histories,[1] and finished it in 1909.[4]

As the book developed, Stein included and later dropped an authorial narrator Jane Sands (perhaps named after George Sand, whose work she admired).[5] Among the titles the book went through as it progressed were The Making of an Author being a History of one woman and many others.[6]

Leo bought in 1904 a portrait by French painter Paul Cézanne, Portrait of Madame Cézanne (c. 1881). Painted in an unnatural, high-contrast style that eschews conventional approaches to depicting femininity, the work portrays the artist's wife holding a fan while reclining in a high-baked red chair. This hung above Stein's writing desk as she composed Three Lives.[7] During the writing of Three Lives, Picasso painted Portrait of Gertrude Stein (1906), in which the hairstyle, hands, and mask-like face of Stein bear strong resemblance to Cézanne's depiction of his wife.[8]

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.