Gertrude Stein had a problem. She’d always had the problem but it was all the more acute in 1934 when she stood before 500 people and tried to speak.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. Her stutter caused obvious discomfort among her adoring fans and that caused her to lose confidence and when Gertrude Stein lost confidence, she lost her line of thought. Which was not easy to follow to begin with.
The first couple of lectures on her long-awaited U.S. tour were described in the American press as disappointing and worse, confusing.
And this would never do, as she had six months of lectures across the United States lined up, each limited to 500 people maximum and each had been sold out months ago.
In a bit of a panic, Stein told an assistant to reach out to her good friend Mina Loy, a bohemian Everywoman sort, living in Paris. A feminist, painter, poet, playwright, novelist, designer — god knows, if it was about art, Mina had done it. If anyone could punch up a speech and clear up her, um, diction issues, Stein reasoned, it would be Mina.Continue reading