Gertrude Stein was an American author, and one of America's most well-known expatriates. Although born in the United States, Stein moved around as a child and eventually settled down in France, believing that Paris was the ideal place to create twentieth century art and literature.
Born to wealthy parents in 1874, Gertrude grew up in a bilingual household where both English and German were spoken. Gertrude found school to be boring, but loved to read. In college, Stein was focused on studying psychology and her writing was experimental. Stein's writing more resembled a stream of consciousness than any particular style. At age twenty-nine, Stein decided to become dedicated to writing.
Operas and Plays includes twenty different writing pieces by Stein. Gertrude Stein published Operas and Plays herself in while living in Paris in 1932. Operas and Plays was out of print for decades, but has recently been reprinted. It is being republished by Station Hill Express. The original copies of Operas and Plays is rare and are sold for hundreds of dollars.
Including the works in Operas and Plays, Stein wrote 75 plays in total. She wanted to write plays that communicated landscapes, using scenes from her own daily life. Stein rejected writing styles from the past to write in a more continuous style. Her writing often lacked plot or dialogue. Stein's writing was criticized by many during her time. Her plays were like her stream of consciousness style of writing: devoid of plot, dialogue, and other literary components. Stein was a very big supporter of art and helped to launch the career new artists.
What the artists of the day were trying to do and say in their paintings, Stein was trying to do in her writing: break away from conventions and express herself through new and experimental forms of a very old art. Most critics called Stein's writing incomprehensible, but her works caught the attention of many very well-known and successful writers at the time. Gertrude Stein was proud of Operas and Plays because she believed that in it she had solved elements of the traditional narrative that she considered to be problems that had long troubled her.