16 Slightly Absurd Quotes by Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein (1874 – 1946), American author of experimental prose and poetry, had a way with words —many, many words. Many were beautiful and wise; and just as many were delightfully perplexing. Following are a few favorites among a vast selection of slightly absurd quotes by Gertrude Stein.

Born into a well-to-do family Jewish family in Pennsylvania, Stein went to college at Radcliffe and then studied medicine for four years at Johns Hopkins University. She lived most of her adult life in Paris, where she moved in 1903.

Stein and her brother Leo Stein amassed an important art collection; the two lived together in Paris for some years, but after she met her life partner, Alice B. Toklas, she and her brother became estranged.

Stein is considered one of the most significant writers of the early twentieth century. Though some consider her writing incoherent or weird, others view it as a singular voice.  Her poems were unlike any others — each almost like a piece of abstract art to experience throughout the senses.

Stein’s most popular work was The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, which is written as though through Alice’s point of view. Aside from poetry and novels, Stein also wrote plays, operas, and gave many lectures.

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Gertrude Stein

Learn more about Gertrude Stein

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“Nothing is more interesting than something that you eat.”

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

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

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Tender buttons by Gertrude Stein

Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein:
Experiment in Cubist Poetry, or Literary Prank?

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“The thing that differentiates man from animals is money.”

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

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

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Quotes by Gertrude Stein

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

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“We are always the same age inside.”

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

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“We are always the same age inside.”

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“You look ridiculous if you dance. You look ridiculous when you don’t dance. So you might as well dance.”

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Gertrude Stein Quote - you look ridiculous if you dance

You might also like: Gertrude Stein Quotes to Perplex and Delight

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“Nothing is really so very frightening when everything is so very dangerous.”

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

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

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“It takes a heap of loafing to write a book.”

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

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Selected writings of Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein page on Amazon*

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