Mexico: A Play
Stein's memorable play Mexico was first printed in the groundbreaking 1922 collection Geography and Plays, a book which, like other works published that year—including Ulysses and The Waste Land—represents some of the best modernist experiments. Stein wrote Mexico in 1916, upon her and Alice Toklas's return from the Mallorcan countryside where they had gone to escape the War. And as critic Cyrena N. Pondrom has pointed out, this work marks a less disjunctive and less repetitive style than her pieces before her stay in The Palma de Mallorca.
Although clearly without plot or sustained narrative, the play—seldom actually about Mexico—often presents images of travel and associations having to do with exotic locations. The first few lines, indeed, move the characters from "tracing out California" to "The city of Savannah""—albeit the boat, not the community in Georgia.
The play almost behaves like a "tracing," with its quick linguistic leaps and associations as its characters come together, leave, and retrace their intellectual travels from idea to idea. At one point a character says "We believe in Mexico"; and one might almost understand this enjoyable short drama as a kind of statement of belief, kind of commitment to all the possibilities of "Mexico", of a world that lay outside of wartorn Europe.