In her first published collection of short stories, Three Lives (1909), Gertrude Stein used an epigraph that she attributed to the French Symbolist Jules Laforgue. Critics have so far agreed that Laforgue actually never wrote this sentence. We think, on the contrary, that the sentence
could have been inspired by a very similar one included in Laforgue’s Moralité Légendaires, and that Gertrude Stein could have had various reasons to quote this work. This article tries to analyse these reasons, comparing the themes treated by the two artists, and the opinions
they had in common, considering that Gertrude Stein was totally plunged in the Parisian cultural atmosphere of the beginning of the twentieth century.
The European Journal of American Culture (EJAC) is an academic, refereed journal for scholars, academics and students from many disciplines with a common involvement in the interdisciplinary study of America and American culture, drawing on a variety of approaches and encompassing the whole evolution of the country.