Gertrude Stein

Gertrude
Stein
1874
1946

American Poet, Novelist, Critic

Author Quotes

You should only read what is truly good or frankly bad.

You will write if you will write without thinking of the result in terms of a result, but think of the writing in terms of discovery, which is to say that creation must take place

You'll be old and you never lived, and you kind of feel silly to lie down and die and to never have lived, to have been a job chaser and never have lived.

You have to learn to do everything, even to die.

You look ridiculous if you dance.

You look ridiculous if you don't dance.

The United States is just now the oldest country in the world, there always is an oldest country and she is it, it is she who is the mother of the twentieth century civilization. She began to feel herself as it just after the Civil War. And so it is a country the right age to have been born in and the wrong age to live in.

There is too much fathering going on just now and there is no doubt about it fathers are depressing.

Very likely education does not make very much difference.

When there is a war the years are longer that is to say the days are longer the months are longer the years are much longer but the weeks are shorter that is what makes a war.

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.

There never will be anything more interesting than that American Civil War.

Veterans feel disappointed, not about the 1914-1918 war but about this war. They liked that war, it was a nice war, a real war a regular war, a commenced war and an ended war. It was a war, and veterans like a war to be a war. They do.

When they are alone they want to be with others, and when they are with others they want to be alone. After all, human beings are like that.

The whole duty of man consists in being reasonable and just... I am reasonable because I know the difference between understanding and not understanding and I am just because I have no opinion about things I don’t understand.

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.

Wake a question. Eat an instant, answer.

When you are writing before there is an audience anything written is as important as any other thing and you cherish anything and everything that you have written. After the audience begins, naturally they create something that is they create you, and so not everything is so important, something is more important than another thing.

There are many that I know and I know it. They are many that I know and they know it. They are all of them themselves and they repeat it and I hear it. Always I listen to it. Slowly I come to understand it. Many years I listened and did not know it. I heard it, I understood it some, I did not know I heard it. They repeat themselves now and I listen to it. Every way that they do it now I hear it. Now each time very slowly I come to understand it. Always it comes very slowly the completed understanding of it, the repeating each one does to tell it the whole history of the being in each one, always now I hear it. Always now slowly I understand it.

They wanted to know how I succeeded in getting so much publicity, I said by having a small audience, I said if you have a big audience you have no publicity, this did seem to worry them and naturally it would worry them they wanted the publicity and the big audience, and really to have the biggest publicity you have to have a small one, yes all right the biggest publicity comes from the realest poetry and the realest poetry has a small audience not a big one, but it is really exciting and therefore it has the biggest publicity, all right that is it.

War is more like a novel than it is like real life and that is its eternal fascination. It is a thing based on reality but invented, it is a dream made real, all the things that make a novel but not really life.

Why should a sequence of words be anything but a pleasure?

There are of course people who are more important than others in that they have more importance in the world but this is not essential and it ceases to be. I have no sense of difference in this respect because every human being comprises the combination form.

They were regular in being gay, they learned little things that are things in being gay, they learned many little things that are things in being gay, they were gay every day, they were regular, they were gay, they were gay the same length of time every day, they were gay, they were quite regularly gay.

War is never fatal but always lost. Always lost.

Author Picture
First Name
Gertrude
Last Name
Stein
Birth Date
1874
Death Date
1946
Bio

American Poet, Novelist, Critic