Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Copywriting Gertrude Stein: advertising, anonymity, autobiography

Rosenquist, R. (2016) Copywriting Gertrude Stein: advertising, anonymity, autobiography. Modernist Cultures. 11(3) 2041-1022.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: This article traces the parallel, though in some ways inverted, early careers of Gertrude Stein and Helen Woodward: one a celebrated but little-read modernist author and the other a widely-read but largely anonymous copywriter. The first section draws comparisons between early twentieth-century changes in advertising copy and Stein’s literary innovations, focusing on the techniques used by Stein and copywriters like Woodward to direct attention to ordinary objects or promote branded products by appealing to the individual reader’s experience and subjectivity. The second section goes on to consider the contrasting definitions and public expectations of the author within the contexts of high modernism and modern advertising, respectively. The article concludes with brief analysis of the techniques of attribution, promotion and anonymity within the autobiographies of these two writers, suggesting that the contrast in approaches to life writing were largely due to how creative and corporate authors held highly contrasting public positions in early twentieth-century America.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Popular culture, celebrity, Modernism, life writing, Helen Woodward, Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
Creators: Rosenquist, Rod
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > English and Creative Writing
Research Centres > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Date: 26 October 2016
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Modernist Cultures
Volume: 11
Number: 3
Language: English
ISSN: 2041-1022
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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