Saturn Return: Gertrude Stein’s fateful twenty-ninth year

From Gertrude Stein’s early work, Fernhurst, a classic description of the learning of the Saturn return.

 

from Fernhurst. 1904

It happens often in the twenty-ninth year of a life that all the forces that have been engaged through the years of childhood, adolescence and youth in confused and ferocious combat range themselves in ordered ranks – one is uncertain of one’s aims meaning and power during these years of tumultuous growth where aspiration has no relation to fulfilment and one plunges here and there with energy and misdirection during the storm and stress of the making of a personality until we reach the twenty-ninth year the straight and narrow gate-way of maturity and life which was all uproar and confusion narrows down to form and purpose and we exchange a great dim possibility for a small hard reality.

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