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Inspirational quotes by Gertrude Stein on writing, love, Paris, family and other things.

94 Inspirational Quotes By Gertrude Stein, The Author Of Fernhurst

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American novelist

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Allegheny, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States

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Gertrude Stein was a novelist, playwright, a collector of art and poet from America, who lived in Paris for most of her life and is regarded as an integral member of the avant-garde literary movement in the city in first decades of the 20th century. She was born in a wealthy family and after graduating from the prestigious Radcliffe College, she attended the John Hopkins School of Medicine. However, she dropped out and instead moved to Paris in 1903 in order to pursue a career in literature. One of her first works, ‘Q.E.D’ was an autobiographical book on the love between two women. Her other notable works include ‘Three Lives’, ‘Tender Buttons’, ‘The Making of Americans’, ‘Fernhurst’ and ‘Word Portraits’ among others. Stein was a leading intellectual in Paris and was instrumental in bringing together some of the leading lights of the era  in her salon. Some of the individuals who visited her salon include Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Ezra Pound and Ernest Hemmingway among others. Her book ‘Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas’ was an account of her time in the city. Stein was without doubt a person who was far ahead of her time. Here are some of her most well-known quotes.

One must dare to be happy.

- Gertrude Stein

We are always the same age inside.

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

You look ridiculous if you dance You look ridiculous if you don't dance So you might as well dance.

- Three Lives, Gertrude Stein

If you can't say anything nice about anyone else, come sit next to me.

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

There ain't no answer. There ain't gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. There's your answer.

- Gertrude Stein

Writing and reading is to me synonymous with existing.

- Gertrude Stein

It is nice that nobody writes as they talk and that the printed language is different from the spoken otherwise you could not lose yourself in books and of course you do you completely do.

- Gertrude Stein

Let me listen to me and not to them.

- Gertrude Stein

In the morning there is meaning, in the evening there is feeling.

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

You attract what you need like a lover

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

If you are too careful, you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.

- Gertrude Stein

You have to know what you want to get it.

- Gertrude Stein

There is no such thing as repetition. Only insistance.

- Gertrude Stein

America is my country, and Paris is my home town.

- Gertrude Stein

You are all a lost generation.

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Everybody's Autobiography, Gertrude Stein

You are so afraid of losing your moral sense that you are not willing to take it through anything more dangerous than a mud-puddle.

- Gertrude Stein

Nothing is really so very frightening when everything is so very dangerous

- Gertrude Stein

It takes a heap of loafing to write a book.

- Gertrude Stein

I certainly do care for you Jeff Campbell less than you are always thinking and much more than you are ever knowing

- Three Lives & Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

Whenever you get there, there is no there there.

- Gertrude Stein

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?

- Gertrude Stein

She always says she dislikes the abnormal, it is so obvious. She says the normal is so much more simply complicated and interesting.

- The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

If you can do it then why do it?

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

There is no there there.

- Gertrude Stein

If the communication is perfect, the words have life, and that is all there is to good writing, putting down on the paper words which dance and weep and make love and fight and kiss and perform miracles.

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

A FEATHER. A feather is trimmed, it is trimmed by the light and the bug and the post, it is trimmed by little leaning and by all sorts of mounted reserves and loud volumes. It is surely cohesive.

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

A little artist has all the tragic unhappiness and the sorrows of a great artist and he is not a great artist.

- The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein

What is the answer?" [ I [Alice B Toklas] was silent ] In that case, what is the question?

- Gertrude Stein

It is very easy to love alone.

- Gertrude Stein

This is the place of places and and it is here.

- Gertrude Stein

A rose is a rose is a rose.

- Gertrude Stein

If everyone were not so indolent they would realise that beauty is beauty even when it is irritating and stimulating not only when it is accepted and classic.

- Gertrude Stein

The artist works by locating the world in himself

- Gertrude Stein

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.

- Gertrude Stein

War is never fatal but always lost. Always lost.

- Gertrude Stein

I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences.

- Lectures in America, Gertrude Stein

Affectations can be dangerous.

- Gertrude Stein

I am I because my little dog knows me.

- Gertrude Stein

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense. They listen so much that they forget to be natural. This is a nice story.

- Selected Operas and Plays, Gertrude Stein

Hope in gates, hope in spoons, hope in doors, hope in tables, no hope in daintiness and determination. Hope in dates.

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

There is no reason why a king should be rich or a rich man should be a king, no reason at all.

- Ida, Gertrude Stein

I love my love with a b because she is peculiar.

- Narration: Four Lectures by Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein

Once upon a time Baltimore was necessary.

- Gertrude Stein

Love is the skillful audacity required to share an inner life

- Gertrude Stein

Romance is everything.

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

Asparagus in a lean in a lean is to hot. This makes it art and it is wet weather wet weather wet

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

After a while I murmured to Picasso that I liked his portrait of Gertrude Stein. Yes, he said, everybody says that she does not look like it but that does not make any difference, she will, he said.

- The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein

Wake a question. Eat an instant, answer

- Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

A light white, a disgras, an ink spot, a rosy charm.

- Tender Buttons: Objects, Gertrude Stein

Remarks are not literature.

- Gertrude Stein

It is the human habit to think in centuries from a grandparent to a grandchild because it just does take about a hundred years for things to cease to have the same meaning as they did before,

- Narration: Four Lectures by Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein

What good are roots if you can't take them with you

- Gertrude Stein

A creator is not in advance of his generation but he is the first of his contemporaries to be conscious of what is happening to his generation.

- Picasso, Gertrude Stein

...they do quote me, that means that my words and my sentences get under their skins although they do no know it.

- The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein

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

- The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein

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

- Gertrude Stein

There never will be anything more interesting than that American Civil War.

- Gertrude Stein

The seam in between is fenceless.

- Gertrude Stein

A cool red rose and a pink cut pink, a collapse and a sold hole, a little less hot. - Red roses.

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

I have lived half of my life in Paris, not the half the made me but the half in which I made what I made.

- Gertrude Stein

When is there some discharge when. There never is.

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

Let me repeat what history teaches. History teaches.

- Gertrude Stein on Picasso., Gertrude Stein

Twenty-five years run around so quickly but thirty one years is a long time.

- Gertrude Stein

The more you see how the country is the more you do not wonder why they shut the door. The women do in a way and yet if they did not it would be best.

- How Writing Is Written, Gertrude Stein

What is the use of a violent kind of delightfulness if there is no pleasure in not getting tired of it. - A substance in a cushion

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

A village explainer. Excellent if you were a village, but if you were not, not." (on Ezra Pound)

- Gertrude Stein

I wish to remain to remember that stanzas go on

- Stanzas In Meditation, Gertrude Stein

A piece of crystal. A change, in a change that is remarkable there is no reason to say that there was a time.

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

I write for myself and strangers.

- The Making of Americans, Gertrude Stein

Some one who was living was almost always listening. Some one who was loving was almost always listening.

- Gertrude Stein

There ain't no answer. There ain't going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer. (Gertrude Stein: In Words and Pictures)

- Gertrude Stein

There ain't no answer. There ain't going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer.

- Gertrude Stein

Sugar is not a vegetable.

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

Cloudiness what is cloudiness, is it a lining, is it a roll, is it melting.

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

If red is in everything it is not necessary. Is that not an argument for any use of it and even so is there any place that is better, is there any place that has so much stretched out.

- Tender Buttons, Gertrude Stein

The composition of each epoch depends upon the way the frequented roads are frequented.

- Picasso, Gertrude Stein

Sarah Harrell "There is no use there is no use at all in smell, in taste, in teeth, in toast, in anything, there is no use at all and the respect is mutual.

- Gertrude Stein

If you can do it, why do it." ~ Gertrude Stein

- Gertrude Stein

That is what you are. That's what you all are ... all of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation.

- Gertrude Stein

She answered him, there is nothing within you that fights itself and hitherto you have had the instinct to produce antagonism in others which stimulated you to attack.

- The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein