Gertrude Stein Quotes

I like a thing simple but it must be simple through complication. Everything must come into your scheme, otherwise you cannot achieve real simplicity.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author and patron of the arts; relocated to France. As quoted in What Are Masterpieces, Afterword, by Robert Haas (1970). Said in a January 1946 interview with Haas.
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Men ... are so conservative, so selfish, so boresome, and ... they are so ugly, and ... they are gullible, anybody can convince them.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. (Written 1946), originally published with the vocal score as the libretto for the opera by Virgil Thomson, Music Press (1947). The Mother Of Us All, Last Operas and Plays, Rinehart (1949).
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Human beings are interested in two things. They are interested in the reality and interested in telling about it.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author and patron of the arts; relocated to France. As quoted in What Are Masterpieces, afterword, by Robert Haas (1970). Said in a January 1946 interview with Haas.
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Argument is to me the air I breathe. Given any proposition, I cannot help believing the other side and defending it.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. "The Radcliffe Manuscripts," Form and Intelligibility, Exposition Press, ed. Rosalind S. Miller (1949). Undergraduate composition at Radcliffe College, 1895.
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I have always noticed that in portraits of really great writers the mouth is always firmly closed.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author and patron of the arts; relocated to France. As quoted in What Are Masterpieces, afterword, by Robert Haas (1970). Said in a January 1946 interview with Haas.
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From the very nature of progress, all ages must be transitional. If they were not, the world would be at a stand-still and death would speedily ensue. It is one of the tamest of platitudes but it is always introduced by a flourish of trumpets.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. The Radcliffe Manuscripts, Form and Intelligibility, ed. by Rosalind S. Miller, Exposition Press (1949). Written as an undergraduate composition 1894.
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Just as everybody has the vote including women, I think children should, because as a child is conscious of itself then it has to me an existence and has a stake in what happens.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author and patron of the arts; relocated to France. As quoted in What Are Masterpieces, afterword, by Robert Haas (1970). Said in a January 1946 interview with Haas.
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Writers only think they are interested in politics, they are not really, it gives them a chance to talk and writers like to talk but really no real writer is really interested in politics.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Originally published in Partisan Review (Summer 1939). "The Situation in American Writing," How Writing Is Written, Black Sparrow Press (1974).
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When I sleep I sleep and do not dream because it is as well that I am what I seem when I am in my bed and dream.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Originally published by Plain Edition (1931). Before the Flowers of Friendship Faded Friendship Faded, stz. 18, The Major Works of Gertrude Stein, Hon-no-Tomosha (1993).
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A novel is what you dream in your night sleep. A novel is not waking thoughts although it is written and thought with waking thoughts. But really a novel goes as dreams go in sleeping at night and some dreams are like anything and some dreams are like something and some dreams change and some dreams are quiet and some dreams are not. And some dreams are just what any one would do only a little different always just a little different and that is what a novel is.
Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Originally published Nassau Literature (1935). "The Superstitions of Fred Anneday, Annday, Anday; a Novel of Real Life," How Writing Is Written: Volume II of the Previously Uncollected Writings of Gertrude Stein, ed. Robert Bartlett Haas, Black Sparrow Press (1974).
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