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Quotations From GERTRUDE STEIN


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  • ... governing is occupying but not interesting, governments are occupying but not interesting ...
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author and patron of the arts; relocated to France. What Are Masterpieces and Why Are There So Few of Them (1936).
  • 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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  • Think of the Bible think of Homer think of Shakespeare and think of me.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. The Geographical History of America, Random House (1936).
  • Once more I can climb about and remind you that a woman in this epoch does the important literary thinking.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. The Geographical History of America, Random House (1936).

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  • A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author; relocated to France. Wars I Have Seen (1945). Written in 1943.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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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  • 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.
  • Language as a real thing is not imitation either of sounds or colors or emotions it is an intellectual recreation and there is no possible doubt about it and it is going to go on being that as long as humanity is anything.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. "Poetry and Grammar," Lectures in America, Random House (1935).
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