Thursday, June 21, 2012

Memory: Gertrude Stein -there is no there there...

There statue at the Oakland/Berkeley border. Photo by Joe Sciarrillo.

"...what was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about it if I like or any- thing if I like but not there, there is no there there." Gertrude Stein

When she published Everybody's Autobiography two years later [1937], saying there was "no there there," it was written to reflect painful nostalgia about her home being gone and the land around it being completely changed. The house where she grew up was on a sprawling 10-acre plot surrounded by orchards and farms. By 1935, it had been replaced by dozens of houses. Oakland held a special significance to her, and on her return, she found that Oakland had urbanized and changed from the pastoral place she remembered.
Matt Werner, Huffington Post

Gertrude Stein-Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein 
(link to complete text)

What is the grammatical significance of "there"?

Part of Speech:  The word 'there' can either be a pronoun or adverb depending on how it is used in a sentence. If you use it to describe a location (it is there), it would be a pronoun. If you put the word before a verb (there is), then it would be an adverb.

In Stein's quotation:
...there [adverb before verb] is no there [pronoun-absence of location] there (pronoun-location)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Royce Carlton Caribbean novelist Jamaica Kincaid will address the Grinnell College class of 2012 at the College’s 166th Exercises of Commencement, on at 10 a.m. Monday, May 21, on Central Campus. (See previous post for YouTube/Recording)
Kincaid, known as a “significant voice in contemporary literature,” is the author of  At the Bottom of the River, Annie John, A Small Place, Lucy, Autobiography of My Mother, My Brother, and other works.   Her “highly personal, stylistic, and honest writings” are considered loosely autobiographical from her upbringing in Antigua, with strong images of “tenuous mother-daughter relationships amid themes of anticolonialism.”  Kincaid was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 for her 

Jamaica Kincaid's agent for speaking engagements is Royce Carlton. This photograph is part of the publicity package.