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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

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

Nadine Hubbs

University of California Press

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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