View Full Version : 1914 Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein called a Hermetic Text

Aunt Clair
09-15-2011, 02:28 PM
Writing an essay on collage in Art I stumbled upon this ;

Tender Buttons (written, 1912)

Tender Buttons is the best known of Gertrude Stein's "hermetic" works. It is a small book separated into three sections - Food, Objects and Rooms each containing prose under subtitles. (Kellner, 1988, p. 61-62).

"Stein's poems in Tender Buttons are very stylised and hermetic, as she preferred for sound rather than sense."

Tender Buttons

The change in that is that red weakens an hour...
The change of color is likely and a difference a very little difference is prepared.
Sugar is not a vegetable...
A lamp is not the only sign of glass. The lamp and the cake are not the only sign of stone. The lamp and the cake and the cover are not the only necessity altogether....
What is the wind, what is it.

Where is the serene length, it is there and a dark place is not a dark place, only a white and red are black, only a yellow and green are blue, a pink is scarlet, a bow is every color. A line distinguishes it. A line just distinguishes it.


A dark grey, a very dark grey, a quite dark grey is monstrous ordinarily, it is so monstrous because there is no red in it. If red is in everything it is not necessary. Is that not an argument for any use of it and even so is there any place that is better, is there any place that has so much stretched out.


A blue coat is guided guided away, guided and guided away, that is the particular color that is used for that length and not any width not even more than a shadow.



Hermetic Colouring ,Reddening and other stages, reference to the stone and an obvious Hermetic bent but no clear recipe . Was this book written in pensive streams of consciousness or under the influence of her lover Alice B Toklas's brownies or both? And what body part and who's is the tender button? And what did her throws of passion have to do with her ascension?