Full text: The little review (8 (1922), 2)

31 
to understand a little what she is trying to do and what she is 
in my own opinion doing. 
My own thought in the matter is something like this—that 
every artist working with words as his medium must at times be 
profoundly irritated by what seems the limitations of his 
medium. What things does he not wish to create with words. 
There is the mind of the reader before him and he would like 
to create in that reader’s mind a whole new world of sensations, 
or rather one might better say he would like to call back into 
life all of the dead and sleeping senses. 
There is a thing one might call ‘the extension of the province 
of his art’ one wants to achieve. One works with words and one 
would like words that have a taste on the lips, that have a per 
fume to the nostrils, rattling words one can throw into a box and 
shake, making a sharp jingling sound, words that when seen on 
the printed page have a distinct arresting effect upon the eye, 
words that when they jump out from under the pen one may feel 
with the fingers as one might caress the cheeks of his beloved. 
And what I think is that these books of Gertrude Stein’s do in 
a very real sense recreate life in words. 
We writers are, you see, all in such a hurry. There are such 
grand things we must do. For one thing the Great American 
Novel must be written and there is the American or English 
Stage that must be uplifted by our very important contributions, 
to say nothing of the epic poems, sonnets to my lady’s eyes and 
what not. We are all busy getting these grand and important 
thoughts and emotions into the pages of printed books. 
And in the meantime the little words, that are the soldiers 
with which we great generals must make out conquests, are 
neglected. 
There is a city of English and American words and it has been 
a neglected city. Strong broad-shouldered words, that should 
be marching across open fields under the blue sky, are clerking 
in little dusty drygoods stores, young virgin words are being 
allowed to consort with whores, learned words have been put 
to the ditch-diggers trade. Only yesterday I saw a word that 
once called a whole nation to arms serving in the mean capacity 
of advertising laundry soap.
	        

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.