Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Melanctha Herbert never really killed herself

Stein reflected the same independence and freedom from convention in her successful and controversial literary career, which ended with her death in France in 1946. Unfortunately, the subjective, freethinking, artistic spirit so necessary to literary accomplishment has little place in the precise world of neuroanatomic investigation.

Thus ends an article by Bruce S. Schoenberg, M.D., Dr.P.H., titled "Gertrude Stein's Neuroanatomic Investigations: Roses or Thorns?"

The article begins by saying a few things about Stein as a writer, but dwells principally on Stein's time in medical school. It ends by abruptly detailing a few highlights of Stein's writing career and the above-quoted mention of her death, with a moral attached. The woman dies; the typology remains.

I enjoy how the structure of the article reproduces the structure of "Melanctha."

Southern Medical Journal 81.2 (1988): 250-8. UCSF Library. 1 June 2009. PDF.

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