Quotations From GERTRUDE STEIN

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  • The phenomenon of nature is more splendid than the daily events of nature, certainly, so then the twentieth century is splendid.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Picasso, Batsford (1938).

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  • It is so friendly so simply friendly and though inevitable not a sadness and though occurring not a shock.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Paris France, pt. 2, Charles Scribner's Sons (1940).
  • It is natural to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes to that siren until she "allures" us to our death.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. (Written 1915). "Possessive Case," As Fine As Melanctha, Yale University Press (1954).

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  • Honesty is a selfish virtue. Yes I am honest enough.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. (Written 1903), originally published as Things As They Are 1950. "Q.E.D.," bk. 1, Fernhurst, Q.E.D., and Other Early Writings, Liveright (1971).

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  • Everybody thinks that this civilization has lasted a very long time but it really does take very few grandfathers' granddaughters to take us back to the dark ages.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Everybody's Autobiography, ch. 3, Random House (1937).

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  • Evolution was all over my chldhood, walks abroad with an evolutionist and the world was full of evolution, biological and botanical evolution.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author; relocated to France. Wars I Have Seen (1945). Written in 1943.

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  • 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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  • All of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation.... You have no respect for anything. You drink yourselves to death.
    Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), U.S. author. Quoted in A Moveable Feast, ch. 3, Ernest Hemingway (1964). Remark to Hemingway, used by him as the epigraph in The Sun Also Rises (1926).

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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."
  • 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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