Encounters with genius
Gertrude Stein and Alfred North Whitehead
in Special relationships

Gertrude Stein had good reason to gesture toward her innate internationalism, which she saw as a feature of her Americanness, a crucial part of her identity on which she always insisted. Stein emphasises the classificatory ranking of the quality of genius. In comparison to the swashbuckling and eccentric reputations of Stein and Pablo Picasso the choice of the mild, deeply respectable Cambridge mathematician as the third genius looks most peculiar. The mutually formative process of Picasso's painting Stein's portrait shapes one of the most memorable anecdotes in the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Stein's life was allied firmly with that of Toklas, who was as at least as ambitious to promote Stein's fame and ensure the wide circulation of her work as Stein was herself. If Stein's life during her extended encounter with Alfred North Whitehead had fallen into new patterns in 1914, Whitehead's had also undergone a recent transformation.

Special relationships

Anglo-American affinities and antagonisms 1854–1936


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