Gertrude Stein

Gertrude
Stein
1874
1946

American Poet, Novelist, Critic

Author Quotes

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.

Would I if I could by pushing a button would I kill five thousand Chinamen if I could save my brother from anything. Well I was very fond of my brother and I could completely imagine his suffering and I replied that five thousand Chinamen was something I could not imagine and so it was not interesting. One has to remember that about imagination, that is when the world gets dull when everybody does not know what they can or what they cannot really imagine.

There are two kinds of liars the kind that lie and the kind that don't lie the kind that lie are no good.

Think of anything, of cowboys, of movies, of detective stories, of anybody who goes anywhere or stays at home and is an American and you will realize that it is something strictly American to conceive a space that is filled with moving.

We are always the same age inside.

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.

There is a difference between twenty-nine and thirty. When you are twenty-nine it can be the beginning of everything. When you are thirty it can be the end of everything.

Think of the Bible think of Homer think of Shakespeare and think of me.

We talked about and that has always been a puzzle to me why American men think that success is everything when they know that eighty percent of them are not going to succeed more than to just keep going and why if they are not why do they not keep on being interested in the things that interested them when they were college men and why American men different from English men do not get more interesting as they get older.

Writing and reading is to me synonymous with existing.

There is no passion more dominant and instinctive in the human spirit than the need of the country to which one belongs... The time comes when nothing in the world is so important as a breath of one's own particular climate. If it were one's last penny it would be used for that return passage.

This is the lesson that history teaches: repetition.

What is a sentence. A sentence is a duplicate. An exact duplicate is depreciated. Why is a duplicated sentence not depreciated. Because it is a witness. No witnesses are without value.

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

American Poet, Novelist, Critic