Gertrude Stein

experimental expatriate United States writer (1874-1946)

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Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
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.
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.
Everybody gets so much common 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.
F. Scott Fitzgerald is the first of the last generation.
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.
In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. This is what makes America what it is.
In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. This is what makes American what it is.
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 takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.
Money is always there but the pockets change.
Money is always there, but the pockets change.
Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone.
The first hope of a painter who feels hopeful about painting is the hope that the painting will move, that it will live outside its frame.
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 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.
There ain't no answer. There ain't going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That's the answer.
There is no there there.
What is the answer I was silent. In that case, what is the question
What is the answer? she asked, and when no answer came she laughed and said: Then, 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 are so afraid of losing your moral sense that you are not willing to take it through anything more dangerous than a mud puddle.

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