Category Archives: gertrude stein book

it exists

so. time to play catch with my gertrude stein book…

from the beginning i didn’t have a clear concept or direction that i wanted to take with stein’s collection of poems. i sure struggled quite a bit throughout this process, i just couldn’t grasp the content and generate experiments that truly captured the text. this first group of images are from when i was in a state of focusing in on picking poems that contained the word ‘why’ and how many contained the same type of phrases. i was using rooms as on the edges of the pages to force the reader to have to interact with the book and discover how to complete the poem. and my analog process was marking through the text, highlighting and mimicking note taking. lets just say that this wasn’t very successful.

next version was getting a little warmer. i narrowed in on repetition and how the phrases and words of her writing come as a pair, you can’t have one without the other. therefore i went to having two books. you have to connect the books together to complete the poems, you can’t have on without the other. this had some substance, but needed a lot more thought and exploration, oh and also something analog.

after my floundering around i actually had a final book to present. i ran with the idea of having to connect pieces together to complete the poems. to give more control to how the reader interacts with the book, i built one book with two spines. on one side you have black pages that have cut outs that give hierarchy to words and phrases that help clarify each poem typed out on the right spined pages. in addition to having the cuts reveal the poem, some words were featured through my analog process of cutting open paper to uncover the word. then using photography i brought that into by book layout. to me gertrude stein’s poems are organized sort of like a puzzle. you have to sort through the noise to find the pieces that construct that little house on a prairie or in this case find an understanding of what gertrude is saying. she writes in fragments, and builds them on top each other to form her poems. the following is my design methodology that is included in my book: in tender buttons: objects, food, rooms, gertrude stein’s use of repetition is intentional and necessary. a word or phrase cannot stand without the repeated others; they come as a set. the blocks of repeated phrases emphasize the poem’s meaning. using a word or phrase on its own doesn’t convey the same message. this anthology capitalizes on this discovery of understanding by un/covering and connecting the pieces of the poems to create something whole. the left spined pages create an interactive process of making sense of stein’s writing style by blocking out and unlocking a narrowed in perspective of each poem.

i think the form of my book and its interactive dependence is intriguing. however, the way i decided to illustrate her poems is not the most conceptual, i mainly relied on trying to get myself to understand and relate to the poems, not sure if it is the most successful. i am some what satisfied with what i produced, but it definitely could use some more thought. for now though i’ll leave gertrude stein be.

trying stuff

gertrude stein. a cubist poet? stein’s writing style is repetitive and sometimes seems like it goes in circles, in a way this is how our minds work when we are trying to learn something new. our brains run rapid as we make observations for everything, our thoughts repeat so we remember, and we question everything. with stein’s format she forces us to really pause and take in what’s going through her mind, it forces you to reread and leave logic behind. the way she writes makes you question things; question life, everything is a question. poetry is subjective to interpretation and should not be taken literally, readers have all questioned her reasoning, her sane-ness, but these poems she wrote for herself, they’re her self expression.

i chose the only poems that had the word why. why? people can go on asking why forever, it’s an infinite loop. does there have to be answers to these questions, i don’t think so. for experimentation, i’m struggling with analog methods because i have chosen poems that are quite lengthy, so i have to keep that in mind with all of my experiments. and i can’t really grasp how i want, or need to visually capture my concept. so far i’ve worked with layering, and thinking about how to make the book interactive. and now i will go question everything and get stuck in limbo.

gertrude stein

for the first project in type_tres, we are using gertrude stein’s tender buttons [objects, food, rooms] to create our own codex, exploring formal, alternate ways to format language. i have chosen these ten sections_

1_ a box

2_a chair

3_ this is the dress, aider








these are the only sections, if i read correctly, that contain *why*

why, why, why. why is an overwhelming word. so much weight is held on what follows up why.

never quit asking why.


these ten sections range in length, which will give the book variety while reading. my inspiration for going forward with exploring how i am going to go about piecing together this text, for right now, comes from my, hands down, favorite book house of leaves.