Narration / Attraction / Affectation / Beginning | Gertrude Stein, 1874 - 1946

Gertrude Stein at 27 Rue de Fleurus, Paris, 1905


“What happened to-day, a narrative” 

“It takes a lot of time to be a genius. You have to sit around so much, doing nothing, really doing nothing.” 

“Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something. ” 

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” 

“A very important thing is not to make up your mind that you are any one thing.” 


“A writer should write with his eyes and a painter paint with his ears.” 

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

“If you knew it all it would not be creation but dictation.” 

“Remarks are not literature.” 

“The seam in between is fenceless.” 

“The way to resume is to resume."

“So many words to use. Oh do not say that words have a use.” 

“The artist works by locating the world in himself” 

“Literature - creative literature - unconcerned with sex, is inconceivable.” 


“For a very long time everybody refuses and then almost without a pause almost everybody accepts.” 

“It is very easy to love alone.” 

“You attract what you need like a lover” 

“There is no such thing as repetition. Only insistance. ” 

“You have to know what you want to get it.” 

“Love is the skillful audacity required to share an inner life” 

“How prettily we swim. Not in water, not on land, but in love.”

“You are extraordinary within your limits, but your limits are extraordinary!” 


“Affectations can be dangerous.” 

“One must dare to be happy. ” 

“We are always the same age inside. ” 

“Argument is to me the air I breathe. Given any proposition, I cannot help believing the other side and defending it.” 

“Anything one does every day is important and imposing and anywhere one lives is interesting and beautiful.” 

“Whenever you get there, there is no there there.” 

“I like a view but I like to sit with my back turned to it.” 

“Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone.” 

“If you can do it, why do it."

“I have gone on beginning...” 


Gertrude Stein, 1874 - 1946


 Gertrude Stein's salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus, Paris

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