Gertrude Stein Quotes

Nature is commonplace. Imitation is more interesting.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Quoted in Charlie Chaplin, My Autobiography, ch. 20 (1964).
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A writer must always try to have a philosophy and he should also have a psychology and a philology and many other things. Without a philosophy and a psychology and all these various other things he is not really worthy of being called a writer. I agree with Kant and Schopenhauer and Plato and Spinoza and that is quite enough to be called a philosophy. But then of course a philosophy is not the same thing as a style.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Quoted in Frederic Prokosch, "Style," Voices: A Memoir (1983).
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Ezra Pound still lives in a village and his world is a kind of village and people keep explaining things when they live in a village.... I have come not to mind if certain people live in villages and some of my friends still appear to live in villages and a village can be cozy as well as intuitive but must one really keep perpetually explaining and elucidating?
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Quoted in Frederic Prokosch, "The Evil Corner," Voices: A Memoir (1983). Reply to Thornton Wilder, who has asked her what she meant by calling Pound "a village explainer."
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In France one must adapt oneself to the fragrance of a urinal.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Quoted in Frederic Prokosch, Voices: A Memoir, "Style," (1983). said to author and poet Frederic Prokosch. Prokosch had paid a visit to Stein in Paris, asking her opinion of the city. "Alice [B. Toklas] deplores the public urinals," Stein explained. "I keep explaining to Alice that the Parisians are all wine-drinkers and for a gentleman the bladder is more restless than for a lady."
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Do not forget birthdays. This is in no way a propaganda for a larger population.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. (Written 1924). "A Birthday Book," Alphabets and Birthdays, Yale University Press (1957).
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Just before she died she asked, "What is the answer?" No answer came. She laughed and said, "In that case, what is the question?" Then she died.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Quoted in Gertrude Stein, A Biography of Her Work, ch. 6, Donald Sutherland (1951). Sutherland concludes the biography, "Those were her last words, but they say what she had always been saying."
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A beauty is not suddenly in a circle. It comes with rapture. A great deal of beauty is rapture. A circle is a necessity. Otherwise you would see no one. We each have our circle.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. (Written 1920), originally published in Last Operas and Plays (1949). "A Circular Play," A Stein Reader, ed. Ulla E. Dydo, Northwestern University Press (1993).
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Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Sacred Emily (written 1913), published in Geography and Plays (1922). Thought to refer to the artist Sir Francis Rose, one of whose paintings was hung in her Paris drawing-room.
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I simply contend that the middle-class ideal which demands that people be affectionate, respectable, honest and content, that they avoid excitements and cultivate serenity is the ideal that appeals to me, it is in short the ideal of affectionate family life, of honorable business methods.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. "Adele," bk. 1, Q.E.D. (1903).
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The history is always the same the product is always different and the history interests more than the product. More, that is, more. Yes. But if the product was not different the history which is the same would not be more interesting.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. "Sentences," How To Write, Plain Edition (1931).
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