Gertrude Stein Quotes

A diary means yes indeed.

A house in the country is not the same as a country house.

A masterpiece… may be unwelcome but it is never dull.

A real failure does not need an excuse. It is an end in itself.

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.

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

Action and reaction are equal and opposite.

America is my country and Paris is my hometown.

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.

An audience is always warming but it must never be necessary to your work.

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

Before the flowers of friendship faded friendship faded.

But the problem is that when I go around and speak on campuses, I still don’t get young men standing up and saying, ‘How can I combine career and family?’

Communists are people who fancied that they had an unhappy childhood.

Considering how dangerous everything is, nothing is really very frightening.

Counting is the religion of this generation it is its hope and its salvation.

Disillusionment in living is finding that no one can really ever be agreeing with you completely in anything.

Do not forget birthdays. This is in no way a propaganda for a larger population.

Do you know because I tell you so, or do you know, do you know.

Every adolescent has that dream every century has that dream every revolutionary has that dream, to destroy the family.

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

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

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.

Everyone gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.

Generally speaking, everyone is more interesting doing nothing than doing anything.

Hemingway’s remarks are not literature.

History takes time. History makes memory.

Human beings are interested in two things. They are interested in the reality and interested in telling about it.

I could undertake to be an efficient pupil if it were possible to find an efficient teacher.

I do want to get rich but I never want to do what there is to do to get rich.

I don’t envisage collectivism. There is no such animal, it is always individualism, sometimes the rest vote and sometimes they do not, and if they do they do and if they do not they do not.

I have always noticed that in portraits of really great writers the mouth is always firmly closed.

I have declared that patience is never more than patient. I too have declared, that I who am not patient am patient.

I know what Germans are. They are a funny people. They are always choosing someone to lead them in a direction which they do not want to go.

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

I rarely believe anything, because at the time of believing I am not really there to believe.

I think the reason I am important is that I know everything.

I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. It’s better to be rich.

If you are looking down while you are walking it is better to walk up hill the ground is nearer.

If you can do it then why do it?

In a war everybody always knows all about Switzerland, in peace times it is just Switzerland but in war time it is the only country that everybody has confidence in, everybody.

In France one must adapt oneself to the fragrance of a urinal.

In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. That is what makes America what it is.

Is it worse to be scared than to be bored, that is the question.

It is always a mistake to be plain-spoken.

It is awfully important to know what is and what is not your business.

It is extraordinary that when you are acquainted with a whole family you can forget about them.

It is extraordinary that whole populations have no projects for the future, none at all. It certainly is extraordinary, but it is certainly true.

It is funny that men who are supposed to be scientific cannot get themselves to realise the basic principle of physics, that action and reaction are equal and opposite, that when you persecute people you always rouse them to be strong and stronger.

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.

It is natural not to care about a sister certainly not when she is four years older and grinds her teeth at night.

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.

It is not what France gave you but what it did not take from you that was important.

It is so friendly so simply friendly and though inevitable not a sadness and though occurring not a shock.

It is the soothing thing about history that it does repeat itself.

It is very easy to love alone.

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

Just as everybody has the vote including women, I think children should, because as a child is conscious of itself then it has to me an existence and has a stake in what happens.

Just before she died she asked, What is the answer? No answer came. She laughed and said, In that case, what is the question? Then she died.

Let me listen to me and not to them.

Literature – creative literature – unconcerned with sex, is inconceivable.

Men and girls, men and girls: Artificial swine and pearls.

Men cannot count, they do not know that two and two make four if women do not tell them so.

Money is always there but the pockets change; it is not in the same pockets after a change, and that is all there is to say about money.

Name any name and then remember everybody you ever knew who bore that name. Are they all alike. I think so.

Nature is commonplace. Imitation is more interesting.

Oh, I wish I were a miser; being a miser must be so occupying.

Once more I can climb about and remind you that a woman in this epoch does the important literary thinking.

One does not get better but different and older and that is always a pleasure.

One of the pleasant things those of us who write or paint do is to have the daily miracle. It does come.

Picasso once remarked I do not care who it is that has or does influence me as long as it is not myself.

Poetry consists in a rhyming dictionary and things seen.

Remarks are not literature.

Romance is everything.

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.

Sculpture is made with two instruments and some supports and pretty air.

Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.

Supposing everyone lived at one time what would they say. They would observe that stringing string beans is universal.

That is what war is and dancing it is forward and back, when one is out walking one wants not to go back the way they came but in dancing and in war it is forward and back.

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 deepest thing in any one is the conviction of the bad luck that follows boasting.

The difference between saints, forget-me-nots, and mountains, have to, have to, have to at a time.

The earth is the earth as a peasant sees it, the world is the world as a duchess sees it, and anyway a duchess would be nothing if the earth was not there as the peasant sees it.

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.

The nineteenth century believed in science but the twentieth century does not.

The nineteenth century was completely lacking in logic, it had cosmic terms and hopes, and aspirations, and discoveries, and ideals but it had no logic.

The thing that differentiates man from animals is money.

There ain’t no answer. There ain’t gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That’s the answer.

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.

There is no real reality to a really imagined life any more.

There is no such thing as being good to your wife.

There is no there there.

There is too much fathering going on just now and there is no doubt about it fathers are depressing.

This is the lesson that history teaches: repetition.

To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write.

Very likely education does not make very much difference.

War is never fatal but always lost. Always lost.

We are always the same age inside.

What is marriage, is marriage protection or religion, is marriage renunciation or abundance, is marriage a stepping-stone or an end. What is marriage.

What is music. A passion for colonies not a love of country.

What is the answer? In that case, what is the question?

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.

You’ll be old and you never lived, and you kind of feel silly to lie down and die and to never have lived, to have been a job chaser and never have lived.

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