Quotes by Gertrude Stein

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Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874, in Pittsburgh - July 27, 1946) was an American writer, poet, feminist, playwright and catalyst in the development of modern art and literature, who spent most of her life in France. more

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What is the answer? [Silence] In that case, what is the question?

It is funny the two things most men are proudest of is the thing that any man can do and doing does in the same way, that is being drunk and being the father of their son.
One does not get better but different and older and that is always a pleasure.
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.
Let me listen to myself and not to them.
It takes a lot of time to be a genius. You have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.
I do want to get rich but I never want to do what there is to do to get rich.
Americans are very friendly and very suspicious, that is what Americans are and that is what always upsets the foreigner, who deals with them, they are so friendly how can they be so suspicious they are so suspicious how can they be so friendly but they just are.
I simply contend that the middle-class ideal which demands that people be affectionate, respectable, honest and content, that they avoid excitements and cultivate serenity is the ideal that appeals to me, it is in short the ideal of affectionate family life, of honorable business methods.
Oh, I wish I were a miser; being a miser must be so occupying.
Money is always there but the pockets change.
A writer must always try to have a philosophy and he should also have a psychology and a philology and many other things. Without a philosophy and a psychology and all these various other things he is not really worthy of being called a writer. I agree with Kant and Schopenhauer and Plato and Spinoza and that is quite enough to be called a philosophy. But then of course a philosophy is not the same thing as a style.
Nature is commonplace. Imitation is more interesting.
The minute you or anybody else knows what you are you are not it, you are what you or anybody else knows you are and as everything in living is made up of finding out what you are it is extraordinarily difficult really not to know what you are and yet to be that thing.
It is extraordinary that whole populations have no projects for the future, none at all. It certainly is extraordinary, but it is certainly true.
Communists are people who fancied that they had an unhappy childhood.
Everybody gets so much common information all day long that they lose their common sense.
The contemporary thing in art and literature is the thing which doesn't make enough difference to the people of that generation so that they can accept it or reject it.
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.
… it is a peaceful thing to be one succeeding.
… one never discusses anything with anybody who can understand, one discusses things with people who cannot understand ….
… money … is really the difference between men and animals, most of the things men feel animals feel and vice versa, but animals do not know about money, money is a purely human conception and that is very important to know very very important.
Writer or painter god-parents are notoriously unreliable. That is, there is certain before long to be a cooling of friendship.
What was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.
What is the answer? she asked, and when no answer came she laughed and said: Then, what is the question?
Very fine is my valentine. Very fine and very mine.
That is natural enough when nobody has had fathers they begin to long for them and then when everybody has had fathers they begin to long to do without them.
… what is the use of being a little boy if you are going to grow up to be a man.
He also told me that a hostess should never apologise for any failure in her household arrangements, if there is a hostess there is insofar as there is a hostess no failure.

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