Lost in Translation: Stein's Vichy Collaboration

This essay takes as its starting point the recent controversy over the meaning of Gertrude Stein's collaboration with the Vichy regime during World War II. Focusing on Stein's unpublished translations of Marshall Pétain's Paroles aux français, I suggest that whatever the terms of Stein's decision to embark on the Pétain translation project, there is little doubt that it occasioned both anxiety and uncertainty. By placing the Pétain translations in their historical and biographical context, and by reading them within and against her earlier theory and practice of modernist translation, I argue for a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Stein's apparent pro-fascism.