Music And Emotionism In Gertrude Joel's 'Susie Asado'
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Through a multiplicity of layers, Gertrude Stein’s rhythmic poem “Susie Asado” evokes images of an ardent dancer, a formal tea party, and overtones of desire and lust. Picasso’s “Ma Jolie,” an analytical cubism painting, depicts Eva Gouel, Picasso’s lover at the time, playing a guitar or zither. These two modernist works portray the female figure, a traditional staple in the classical art world, with a newfound zeal and grit. This portrayal, connected with music and rhythm, demonstrates how both the artist and the writer exploited modern techniques to express a plurality of tumultuous emotions, including the duality of endearment and eroticism with which they viewed their subjects.
Music and rhythm are related to the artists’ strong emotions in both of these works. Susie Asado begins with the repetitive figure, “Sweet sweet sweet sweet sweet tea,” and many different ideas can be interpreted from just this initial phrase (Stein 1). Firstly, Stein introduces the extended metaphor of a tea party here, and this continues throughout the poem. Also, Stein exercises her ability to give words multiple meanings in this line; “Sweet tea” can also be read as “Sweetie,” a term of endearment for this mysterious Susie Asado. With the Picasso painting, “Ma Jolie” is a refrain from a popular song of the time, made clear by the inclusion of a treble clef, and translates to “My pretty one." This connection to music, similarly to the rhythm of the dance-like line in “Susie Asado,” emphasizes