"When very many have come to be dead"
The main source of inspiration for this piece is the recording of Gertrude Stein reading The Making of Americans: Part 2. This extract - Family Living can go on existing - can be found at the very end of this book.
Gertrude Stein used words as the Cubists used line and colour - to find new ways of expressing reality. Her built up arrangements of grammar and thought can be disorientating and senseless, but when heard or read aloud have a sense of immediacy and naturalness. This particular passage has a haunting and moving effect.
Other sources that inspired the extract include A Valentine for Sherwood Anderson (1CD0214488 BD12).