Once upon a time the world was round and. When you began this book. You could go on it around and around. You had no idea how it would turn out. Everywhere there was somewhere and. If writing is language. Everywhere there they were men women children dogs cows wild pigs little rabbits cats lizards and animals. And language is desire. That is the way it was. And longing. And everybody dogs cats sheep rabbits and lizards and children. And suffering. All wanted to tell everybody all about it. And it is capable of great passion And they wanted to tell all about themselves. You were writing the past and discovering the future. And also great nuances of passion. And then there was Rose. Feminist critics have commented on the relationship between gender and one particular genre. Rose was your name and would you have been Rose. Namely the autobiographical mode of writing. Adopted children are self-invented. If your name had not been Rose. Because you have to be. Fiction was. As fiction still is. There is an absence. The easiest thing for a woman to write. A void. You used to think and then you used to think again. A question mark at the very beginning of your lives. You are an ambitious writer. A crucial part of your story is gone. Would you have been Rose if your name had not been Rose. And violently. You don’t see the point of being anything. Like a bomb in the womb. And would you have been Rose if you had been a twin. No, not anything at all. If you have no ambition for it. Nor is it difficult to find the reason. And you suppose that the saddest thing for you. You are a little girl and your name is Rose. Is that you wrote a story you could live with. A reading of Stein’s autobiographies will show that her attempt to write autobiography. Rose is your name. Led her to experiment with. A novel is the least concentrated form of art. And subvert traditional autobiography. A novel can be taken up or put down more easily than a play or a poem. The other one was too painful. Why are you a little girl. You could not survive it. George Eliot left her work to nurse her father. There are markings here. Why is your name Rose. Raised like welts. Charlotte Bronte put down her pen to pick the eyes out of the potatoes. Read them. And when are you a little girl. Read the hurt. And living as she did in the common sitting-room. Rewrite them. And when is your name Rose. Rewrite the hurt. And where are you a little girl. Surrounded by people. A woman was trained to use her mind in observation and upon the analysis of character. And where is your name Rose. She was trained to be a novelist and not to be a poet. Various studies on the gender implications of women’s autobiographies have shown that the genre autobiography. 1985. Cannot be theorized without taking into account the sex of the autobiographer. Wasn’t the day of the memoir. And which little girl are you. The passion of the mind. Are you the little girl named Rose. The passion of the body. Which little girl named Rose. And if syntax reflects states of desire. And in any case. Is hope. You weren’t. Is love. Writing one. Is sadness. You were trying to get away. Is fury. From the received idea that women always write about experience. And if the motions of sentences and paragraphs. The compass of what they know. And chapters are this as well. While men write wide and bold. If the motion of line is about desire and longing and want. The big canvas. Then why when you write. The experiment with form. When you make shapes on paper. Those things made you angry. Why then does it so often look like the traditional straight models. Why could there not be experience and experiment. Why does your longing look for example like John Updike’s longing. In any case. Some critics writing on the theory of female autobiography conclude that there is a close link. Wish. Between. That forms other than those. The two genres. You’ve invented or sanctioned. Of autobiography and poetry. Through your thousands of years of privilege might arise and be celebrated. Why should you be limited by anything or anybody. Whenever any creature is moved. Why could there not be the observed and the imagined. To reach out for what it desires. Why should you not be ambitious for literature. That movement begins. Ambitious for yourself. Weird. Gorgeous vessel. In an act of the imagination. And if your name is not Rose what would be your autobiography. Voluptuous vessel. It would not be the autobiography of Rose because your name would not be Rose. Fiction and poetry are doses. Medicines. You love most what the novel might be. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination. And not what it all too often is. But it is the autobiography of Rose even if your name is not Rose oh yes indeed it is the autobiography of Rose. Let the genres blur if they will. Stein’s insistence on the relationship between name and autobiography at the beginning of this short piece is once again an investigation of identity. Let the genres redefine themselves. You have written love narratives and loss narratives. Language is a woman. Stories of longing and belonging. A rose constantly in the process of opening. It all seems so obvious now. She deconstructs the autobiography genre. It is your mother. By ignoring the autobiographical subject. It is your mother. Of course. Breaking the laws of a genre is not unusual. Generic transgressions have always appeared in literary texts. It is your mother. Indeed. Every text is a member of one or more genres. But mother is your first love affair. And in postmodern writings the blurring. Her arms. And transgression of genres are primary characteristics. Her eyes. Let us superimpose on the question. Her breast. What does the lover want from love. Her body. The questions. And if you hate her later. What does the reader want from reading. What is the writer’s desire. Novels are the answer. But Stein’s generic transgressions are gender-specific. You take that rage with you into other lovers. Sweetbitter sounds wrong. And if you lose her. Poetry is the sound of language. Where do you find her again. Organized in lines. And yet our standard English rendering. The beauty of the line. Bittersweet inverts the actual terms. And a deepening beauty. Of Sappho’s compound glukupikron. And understanding of it through repetition. It is hard to translate. You tend to work obsessively with texts. Should that concern you. And you embed them into your work. If her ordering has a descriptive intention. The desire of the novel to be a poem. Eros is here being said to bring sweetness. Then bitterness in sequence. The desire of the girl to be a horse. She is sorting the possibilities chronologically. Especially in poetry. You will always be recognizable by your scar. Where most love ends badly. Going mad is the beginning of the process. The desire of the poem to be an essay. It is not supposed to be the end result. All your life you have worked from the wound. The essay’s desire. To heal it would mean an end. Its reach towards fiction. To one identity. Whosoever has allowed the language of lovers to enter them. The defining identity. The language of wound and pain and solitude and hope. And the obvious erotics of this. If only for a moment. The future will be gorgeous and reckless.