Gertrude Stein: Melanctha

I slept with Gertrude Stein, but I’m not gay.

It had been a controversy in my temples, this “gay” thing, but I’m not gay. It is because I read gay books, I work with gays, and I just love their sense of being true to themselves; but I’m not gay “Because gays,” says a psychologist “have got sex with the same gender.” So if you have not sex with the same gender: you are not gay.

And as for me, I am no Gertrude Stein, but I adore her because I love how she puts her words into music. I like how she pushes through with the good possibilities, and write that appealing clean stories for all to read.

“3 Lives” is the unforgettable stories of three women told with poignancy and compassion by one of the most important writers of our century,” says Donald Sutherland, a noted actor with a major in Drama.

Melanctha is a girl loved by everyone, and has done pretty good things like taking care of her mother and being generous to friends. She also would watch the men, and all the things that were busy working. Jeff Campbell gets attracted to her mysterious ways, and she, Melanctha liked Jefferson Campbell: strong, well-built, good looking, cheery, intelligent and good mulatto.

The story of this girl, combines with the story of “The Good Anna” and “The Gentle Lena.” Stein’s sympathy with how women eke out their living runs deep thoughts in her stories. Her style simple, and with no ambiguity, shows lives of ordinary people around. Repetition is one of her styles. I did not get bored reading the story, because it went through like a chant where you would like to reach the chorus. The characters spin the story naturally, and the conversations don’t stop, but give a feeling of excitement. In the end, you would find something in the work, as just like in a poem. Stein chants it well.

“She uses repetition and dislocation to make the word bear all the meaning it has… one has to give her work word by word the deliberate attention one gives to something written in italics,” points Sutherland.

In “Miss Furr and Miss Skeen” (check her titles) it says “She was gay exactly the same way. She was never tired of being gay that way. She had learned very many little ways to use in being gay…” and in most of the sentences, she repeats the word “gay.” And I, as a reader, find them beautiful, and hence the sleep.

Stein was an acknowledged influence on a number of important writers like Ernest Hemingway, Sherwood Andersen, and Richard Wright.