Abstract

This essay proposes a new approach to Gertrude Stein’s relationship with genre fiction, examining her writings in and on the detective genre in light of the recent critical emphasis on modernism’s deep connections to popular and middlebrow culture. It situates Stein’s crime novel Blood on the Dining-Room Floor (1933; published 1948) alongside her critical writings on detective fiction, and in so doing argues that Stein’s attempts to combine an experimental aesthetic imperative with the recognition that popular genres like detective fiction might broaden the formal parameters and potential audiences of literary modernism establish her as a pivotal figure in modernism’s long history of engagement with popular, commercial authorship.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 1-22
Launched on MUSE
2013-10-16
Open Access
No
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