Gertrude Stein’s famous quotation about her hometown, “There is no there there,” is often misinterpreted. It has more to do with the expression “you can’t go home again,” than a general criticism of Oakland, California.
Gertrude Stein Tribute in Oakland
We did not find much of a “there” left of Gertrude Stein in Oakland, other than the colorful sculpture entitled “There,” in recognition of her quote. After seeing it, be sure to treat yourself to a cupcake from the shop on the corner that faces the sculpture.
Oakland has a population of approximately 383,000. During Gertrude Stein’s youth, it was closer to 10,000. Check out post-Gertrude Stein’s Oakland: http://www.frommers.com/articles/113.html
About Gertrude Stein
Author, poet, and essayist Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) was a contemporary of several major writers, like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. She was known for counter-culture ideas and creative verse. Among her best known works is a collection of writings entitled Tender Buttons. Read more about her here: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Gertrude-Stein.
We love this example of Gertrude Stein’s writing on the http://www.poetryfoundation.org website at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/181675, having yet to be convinced that sugar is indeed a vegetable.
More Places to Visit
Author Adventures profiles many more homes and workplaces connected to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, due to greater historic preservation efforts applied to them. Gertrude Stein left the US to live much of her adult life in France so little remains of her earlier life during the late 1800s and early 1900s in the United States.
Visit our state pages in Alabama, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, and South Carolina for information about places connected to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
This is the sixth stop on our Northern California Auhor Adventures Trail!