Picasso – The Novel

An examination of Gertrude Stein’s novel, Picasso.

This paper briefly examines how Stein’s novel shows the engagement of a great literary artist with that of a great artist of the canvas. It melds Stein?s forceful, direct, and spare prose with the images of Picasso and images of the artists that inspired his work.
“Stein states that Picasso rendered himself through the bodies of other individuals, creating not a visual exhibition of prostitutes in his first foray into cubism, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon of 1907, but rather a text of his inner self and life. But Stein’s tendency to look into a mirror rather into Picasso’s own work can be seen in her stress upon repetition in this and other parts of Picasso’s collective works. Stein’s own use of the literary technique of repetition was extremely effective. It is true that Picasso did make use of similar shapes and images in this first cubist work. He also used reoccurring motifs of color, as evidenced in the paintings of the blue and rose periods that form the focus of a number of Stein’s works upon the artist, as well as the browns and grays of Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.”