Gertrude Stein Quotes

The unreal is natural, so natural that it makes of unreality the most natural of anything natural. That is what America does, and that is what America is.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. repr. In How Writing Is Written, ed. Robert Bartlett Haas (1974). "I Came and Here I Am," Cosmopolitan (New York, Feb. 1936).
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... to a specialist his specialty is the whole of everything and if his specialty is in good order and it generally is then everything must be succeeding.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author; relocated to France. Wars I Have Seen (1945). Written in 1943.
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If nobody knows you that does not argue that you be unknown, nobody knew Ida when they no longer lived in Boston but that did not mean that she was unknown.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Ida, pt. 6, Random House (1941).
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... more and more I like to take a train I understand why the French prefer it to automobiling, it is so much more sociable and of course these days so much more of an adventure, and the irregularity of its regularity is fascinating.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author; relocated to France. Wars I Have Seen (1945). Written in 1943, during World War II.
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Poetry is I say essentially a vocabulary just as prose is essentially not. And what is the vocabulary of which poetry absolutely is. It is a vocabulary based on the noun as prose is essentially and determinately and vigorously not based on the noun. Poetry is concerned with using with abusing, with losing with wanting with denying with avoiding with adoring with replacing the noun. It is doing that always doing that, doing that doing nothing but that. Poetry is doing nothing but using losing refusing and pleasing and betraying and caressing nouns.... So that is poetry really loving the name of anything and that is not prose.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Lectures in America, Random House (1935).
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... there was the first Balkan war and the second Balkan war and then there was the first world war. It is extraordinary how having done a thing once you have to do it again, there is the pleasure of coincidence and there is the pleasure of repetition, and so there is the second world war, and in between there was the Abyssinian war and the Spanish civil war.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author; relocated to France. Wars I Have Seen (1945). Written in 1943.
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What is music. A passion for colonies not a love of country.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. (Written 1916). "Let Us Be Easily Careful," Painted Lace, Yale University Press (1955).
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... children do not take war seriously as war. War is soldiers and soldiers have not to be war but they have to be soldiers. Which is a nice thing.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author; relocated to France. Wars I Have Seen (1945). Written in 1943.
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Supposing everyone lived at one time what would they say. They would observe that stringing string beans is universal.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Originally published Paris, Plain Edition (1930). Lucy Church Amiably, ch. 2, Something Else Press (1969).
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... the one thing that everybody wants is to be free, to talk to eat to drink to walk to think, to please, to wish, and to do it now.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author; relocated to France. Wars I Have Seen (1945). Written in 1943.
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