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Gertrude Stein Quotes on Writing: A Complete Collection

gertrude-stein-quotes-on-writing-a-complete-collection Gertrude Stein Quotes on Writing: A Complete Collection

In a society with prevailing male dominance, women find it hard to develop a solid career without judgment from the public. Only a few managed to establish a name for themselves—Gertrude Stein becoming one of the successful ones. Gertrude Stein defied societal norms of femininity as she ventured into the literary world while becoming an art collector. Apart from her career, she was also highly influential during her time because of her personality, imposing figure, self-confidence, and unconventional lifestyle. Readers, writers, and artists continue to celebrate Gertrude Stein’s importance as a literary figure, even treating her quotes on writing as treasures worth reading.

Avant-garde American writer, playwright, and art collector Gertrude Stein was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, on February 3, 1874. Stein spent her early years in Europe, later moving back with her family to America and settling in Oakland, California. Her mother and father passed away during her teenage years, so she grew up getting closer to her brother Leo. They eventually lived with their aunt and uncle in Baltimore. Her aunt hosted Saturday evening salons, exposing her to sophisticated conversations about politics and art. This exposure most likely developed her interest in art and literature.

Stein was 29 when she moved to Paris and hosted a salon where the leading artists and writers such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henri Matisse, and more gathered. It was also in Paris where she first embarked on a literary career, even becoming the catalyst of modern art and literature’s development. Although her legacy as a writer remains a debated matter, one cannot deny her influence on literature and arts. Moreover, Gertrude Stein’s quotes on arts and writing are as influential as her literary and artistic judgments, serving as inspiration for many aspiring and established professionals in their craft.

Gertrude Stein Quotes About Writing

Gertrude Stein was an avant-garde American writer and self-styled genius with an eccentric personality and ironic sense of humor. She penned many influential books, starting from her first published novel, Three Lives, followed by Tender Buttons: Objects, Food, Room, and The Making of Americans: Being a History of a Family’s Progress. Apart from these novels, Stein also wrote short stories, poems, speeches, and plays. Her writing style involves repetition and other literary devices, often lacking the use of conventional narrative rules. Although critics dismissed most of Stein’s experimental writings as incomprehensible, they influenced many artists and writers who eventually shaped early 20th-century literature and art.

Gertrude Stein’s impact did not end with her writings—the words she shared are now iconic quotes, and many writers and readers search these to gain inspiration in their craft.

You will write if you will write without thinking of the result in terms of a result, but think of the writing in terms of discovery, which is to say that creation must take place between the pen and the paper, not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting… It will come if it is there and if you will let it come.

– Gertrude Stein

After all everybody, that is, everybody who writes is interested in living inside themselves in order to tell what is inside themselves. That is why writers have to have two countries, the one where they belong and the one in which they live really. The second one is romantic, is is separate from themselves, it is not real but it is really there.

– Gertrude Stein

It takes a heap of loafing to write a book.

– Gertrude Stein

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

– 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

Writing and reading is to me synonymous with existing.

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

I am writing for myself and strangers. This is the only way that I can do it.

– Gertrude Stein

Remarks are not literature.

– Gertrude Stein

Don’t write about what you don’t know even if you don’t know it.

– Gertrude Stein

I think one is naturally impressed by anything having a beginning a middle and an ending when one is beginning writing and that it is a natural thing because when one is emerging from adolescence, which is really when one first begins writing one feels that one would not have been one emerging from adolescence if there had not been a beginning and a middle and an ending to anything.

– Gertrude Stein

I write for myself and strangers. The strangers, dear Readers, are an afterthought.

– Gertrude Stein

there is no pleasure so sweet as the pleasure of spending money but the pleasure of writing is longer. There is no denying that.

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

If you write a half hour a day it makes a lot of writing year by year.

– Gertrude Stein

I am writing for myself and strangers. This is the only way that I can do it. Everybody is a real one to me, everybody is like some one else too to me. No one of them that I know can want to know it and so I write for myself and strangers.

– Gertrude Stein

What was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about it if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

I have heard Will Honeycomb say, A Woman seldom Writes her Mind but in her Postscript.

– Gertrude Stein

I cannot write too much upon how necessary it is to be completely conservative that is particularly traditional in order to be free.

– Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein Quotes About Art

Gertrude Stein moved to Paris, France, in 1903 to be with her brother Leo. She hosted a literary and artistic salon in Paris, which became a meeting place among the leading proponents of modernism in literature and visual art like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and others. Stein and her brother Leo also began collecting numerous artworks, establishing their status within the Parisian scene as the first collectors of cubist paintings and works by other experimental painters of the period.

Gertrude Stein helped shape an artistic movement during her time, so it’s safe to say that her quotes on art were just as influential as her.

The creator of the new composition in the arts is an outlaw until he is a classic.

– Gertrude Stein

art is the pulse of a nation.

– Gertrude Stein

Art isn’t everything. It’s just about everything.

– Gertrude Stein

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.

– Gertrude Stein

there is art and there is official art, there always has been and there always will be.

– Gertrude Stein

… anybody is as their land and air is. Anybody is as the sky is low or high, the air heavy or clear and anybody is as there is wind or no wind there. It is that which makes them and the arts they make and the work they do and the way they eat and the way they drink and the way they learn and everything.

– Gertrude Stein

The subject matter of art is life, life as it actually is; but the function of art is to make life better.

– Gertrude Stein

No one is ahead of his time, it is only that the particular variety of creating his time is the one that his contemporaries who are also creating their own time refuse to accept. For a very long time everybody refuses and then almost without a pause almost everybody accepts. In the history of the refused in the arts and literature the rapidity of the change is always startling.

– Gertrude Stein

There is no pulse so sure of the state of a nation as its characteristic art product which has nothing to do with its material life.

– Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein Quotes About Language

Stein experimented with the English language, practicing “cubism” in writing, using rhythm, rhyme, and repetition to reduce language to abstraction. However, many critics were skeptical of Stein’s use of language. For them, her writings seemed to almost sabotage the traditional use of language, which explains why the results of her writing are often devoid of plot or dialogue. Regardless, her style yielded memorable phrases which challenged her readers’ preconceptions of language and narrative.

Gertrude Stein valued the use of language in her writings, so if that caught your interest, the following quotes should satisfy your curiosity.

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

If you are a thinker, you will change the language. You will not use words the way others do.

– Gertrude Stein

When I said.
A rose is a rose is a rose.
And then later made that into a ring I made poetry and what
did I do I caressed completely caressed and addressed
a noun.

– Gertrude Stein

Language as a real thing is not imitation either of sounds or colors or emotions it is an intellectual recreation and there is no possible doubt about it and it is going to go on being that as long as humanity is anything.

– Gertrude Stein

There is no such thing as a natural sentence but there is such a thing as a natural paragraph and it must be found.

– Gertrude Stein

A sentence is not emotional a paragraph is.

– Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein Quotes About Success

Seeing how Gertrude Stein’s popularity never declined through the years, it’s safe to say that she reached the success most people today aspire to achieve. Apart from the commercial success of her only bestseller, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, she also conducted successful lectures in England and the United States.

If you’re looking for inspiration to continue striving for success, these quotes from Gertrude Stein will be of good help!

Whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop.

– Gertrude Stein

There are two kinds of men and women, those who have in them resisting as their way of winning those who have in them attacking as their way of winning.

– Gertrude Stein

it is a peaceful thing to be one succeeding.

– Gertrude Stein

We talked about and that has always been a puzzle to me why American men think that success is everything when they know that eighty percent of them are not going to succeed more than to just keep going and why if they are not why do they not keep on being interested in the things that interested them when they were college men and why American men different from English men do not get more interesting as they get older.

– Gertrude Stein

Success is the result achieved when nobody answers.

– Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein Quotes About Literature

Gertrude Stein was one of the catalysts in developing 20th-century art and literature. Apart from cultivating significant relationships with well-known avant-garde artists and writers of her time, her experimental writing style impacted some of the biggest names in modern writing history. Up to this day, her influence on contemporary literature survives.

To learn about Gertrude Stein’s quotes on literature, check the collection below.

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

– 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

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

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

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.

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

A diary means yes indeed.

– Gertrude Stein

Generally speaking anybody is more interesting doing nothing than doing anything.

– Gertrude Stein

History takes time. History makes memory.

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

The thing that differentiates man from animals is money.

– 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

Action and reaction are equal and opposite.

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

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.

– Gertrude Stein

This is the lesson that history teaches: repetition.

– Gertrude Stein

No one is ahead of his time, it is only that the particular variety of creating his time is the one that his contemporaries who are also creating their own time refuse to accept. For a very long time everybody refuses and then almost without a pause almost everybody accepts. In the history of the refused in the arts and literature the rapidity of the change is always startling.

– Gertrude Stein

Poetry consists in a rhyming dictionary and things seen.

– Gertrude Stein

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.

– Gertrude Stein

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

– Gertrude Stein

Inspirational Quotes

Moving to Paris freed Stein from the constraints of American society. She defied societal norms of femininity through her lifestyle and works, bravely talking about social matters many writers shy away from writing about before. She and other artists and writers defined a generation of literature, inspiring many others to be true to themselves. There’s more of that inspiration in the following quotes, so feel free to check out the list below.

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

– 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 have to know what you want to get it.

– Gertrude Stein

Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.

– Gertrude Stein

You have to know what you want. And if it seems to take you off the track, don’t hold back, because perhaps that is instinctively where you want to be. And if you hold back and try to be always where you have been before, you will go dry.

– Gertrude Stein

Quotes About Dreams

If you’d like to learn more about Gertrude Stein’s thoughts about dreams, read her books or some of her quotes below. Although there’s not much in this list, it offers a view of what Stein thought of dreams, even using it to describe a novel. You can even use these quotes as an inspiration to get those creative juices flowing!

When I sleep, I sleep and do not dream because it is as well that I am what I seem when I am in my bed and dream.

– Gertrude Stein

War is more like a novel than it is like real life and that is its eternal fascination. It is a thing based on reality but invented, it is a dream made real, all the things that make a novel but not really life.

– Gertrude Stein

A novel is what you dream in your night sleep. A novel is not waking thoughts although it is written and thought with waking thoughts.

– Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein’s love for modern art was evident in her novels, short stories, prose poems, plays, and speeches. In terms of influence, Stein’s impact reached the worlds of literature and art, proving her relevance in both fields. Gertrude Stein’s works and quotes on writing continue to find their value in today’s time and will no doubt continue to survive for years to come.

Do you need more sources of inspiration other than these Gertrude Stein’s quotes on writing? View more quotes on writing from other authors here.

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