A survey of the ingredients and paratextual elements that converged in Charles Bernstein's “Gertrude and Ludwig's Bogus Adventure,” occasioned by the translation of the poem into Italian. Historical hints and literary echoes are shown to be not merely juxtaposed but intertwined with trivia drawn from B Hollywood movies and accounting for the title itself of the poem. As the making of meaning, especially in the second part of the text, is driven by phonetic equivalences rather than by referential affinities, readers are alerted that ontophony has been chosen as a modus operandi over any attempt at contentual re-creation. The alliterative deployment of the letter p, for instance, has been retained, though this has caused the scene of the poem to transfer from a baseball park to a painter's studio. A suggestion is also put forward that in Bernstein's poetry, the step-by-step logic of Wittgenstein's Tractatus can be made to dialogue with Gertrude Stein's obsessive brushstroke writing.

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