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The Queer Composition of America's SoundGay Modernists, American Music, and National Identity$
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Nadine Hubbs

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241848

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241848.001.0001

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Modernist Abstraction and the Abstract Art

Modernist Abstraction and the Abstract Art

Four Saints and the Queer Composition of America's Sound

Chapter:
(p.19) 1. Modernist Abstraction and the Abstract Art
Source:
The Queer Composition of America's Sound
Author(s):

Nadine Hubbs

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520241848.003.0001

This chapter examines Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson's opera Four Saints in Three Acts. It suggests that this opera was a landmark collaborative creation of U.S. modernist artists engaged in early-twentieth-century efforts to establish a distinctly and genuinely American voice in transatlantic high culture. It also highlights the queer expressive potential of artistic abstraction within the homophobic context of twentieth-century U.S. culture, and the crucial confluence of queer lives and culture with artistic activity and culture.

Keywords:   opera, Gertrude Stein, Virgil Thomson, modernist artists, high culture, artistic collaboration, queer lives, queer culture

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