1 Medier og Kultur, The Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University2 The Department of Culture and Identity, Roskilde University3 Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University
Critics claim that there's no connection between Gertrude Stein and mysticism, but the passages they quote to support this claim show exactly the opposite. While it may be that Stein was no Zen master, her writing discloses something about the psychology of creativity. For Stein, the creation of an 'other' world through writing has not only a symbolic significance but also a metaphysical one – an idea also explored by her professor at Radcliffe, William James, in his work, 'The Varieties of Religious Experience.' Stein's compositions can be said to resemble old shamanic and mystical practices of creating out of ritualistic words and visions an 'other' physical reality. My claim is that by enlarging the horizon of the word, one turns writing not only into a tool for higher expression, but also into a gate that opens towards a higher form of consciousness.