103 Best Gertrude Stein Quotes That Are Slightly Absurd

Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) was an avant-garde American writer and self-styled genius.

Born in Pennsylvania, she spent her infancy in Vienna and France and her youth in California.

After studying psychology at Radcliffe College and medicine at Johns Hopkins, Stein moved to London and then to Paris.

In Paris, she lived with her lifelong companion, Alice B. Toklas and hosted a salon for leading artists and writers, like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Ernest Hemingway.


Stein’s own writing attempted to mirror the Cubist art movement, focusing on the illumination of the present moment and using repetition, simplification and fragmentation.

Her most widely-read book was “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” (1933), which was actually Stein’s own autobiography.

Related: Norman Maclean Quotes from the American Writer and Will Durant Quotes from the American Writer

Stein had a high self-regard, comparing her literary mind to Einstein’s philosophic one.

After surviving the German occupation of France, she became a legend in Paris, especially for befriending many young American servicemen.

Below are some of the most inspiring quotes from Gertrude Stein.

Best Gertrude Stein Quotes


Nothing has happened today except kindness. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Every man is the maker of his own fortune. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Art isn’t everything. It’s just about everything. ~ Gertrude Stein.

The way to resume is to resume. It is the only way. To resume. ~ Gertrude Stein.

There is no such thing as repetition. Only insistence. ~ Gertrude Stein.

I think the reason I am important is that I know everything. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

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

Writer or painter god-parents are notoriously unreliable. That is, there is certain before long to be a cooling of friendship. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Nature is not natural and that is natural enough. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

I am I because my little dog knows me but, creatively speaking the little dog knowing that you are you and your recognising that he knows, that is what destroys creation. That is what makes school. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Honesty is a selfish virtue. Yes I am honest enough. ~ 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.

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

Every day is a renewal, every morning the daily miracle. This joy you feel is life. ~ 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.

A diary means yes indeed. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Nobody knows what I am trying to do but I do and I know when I succeed. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

Counting is the religion of this generation – it is its hope and its salvation. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Top Gertrude Stein Quotes

The only thing that is different from one time to another is what is seen and what is seen depends upon how everybody is doing everything. ~ Gertrude Stein.

I understand you undertake to overthrow my undertaking. ~ Gertrude Stein.

There is no there there. ~ Gertrude Stein.

It was a strange winter and nothing and everything happened. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

Affectations can be dangerous. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Forget grammar and think about potatoes. ~ Gertrude Stein.

What is the answer? In that case, what is the question? ~ Gertrude Stein.

Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone. ~ Gertrude Stein.

I had a family. They can be a nuisance in identity but there is no doubt no shadow of doubt that that identity the family identity we can do without. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

Money is always there but the pockets change. ~ 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.

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

History takes time. History makes memory. ~ Gertrude Stein.

A sentence is not emotional, a paragraph is. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Writing and reading is to me synonymous with existing. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

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

It is always a mistake to be plain-spoken. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Wise Gertrude Stein Quotes

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

One must either accept some theory or else believe one’s own instinct or follow the world’s opinion. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

There are the two sides to a Frenchman, logic and fashion and that is the reason why French people are exciting and peaceful. Logic and fashion. ~ Gertrude Stein.

In the morning there is meaning, in the evening there is feeling. ~ Gertrude Stein.


One must dare to be happy. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Love: the skillful audacity required to share an inner life. ~ Gertrude Stein.

You look ridiculous if you dance You look ridiculous if you don’t dance So you might as well dance. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Considering how dangerous everything is, nothing is really very frightening. ~ Gertrude Stein.

When in a museum, walk slowly but keep walking. ~ Gertrude Stein.

I love my love with a b because she is peculiar. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Great Top Gertrude Stein Quotes

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

Why should a sequence of words be anything but a pleasure? ~ Gertrude Stein.

Let me listen to me and not to them. ~ Gertrude Stein.

There are a lot of other things besides nouns. ~ Gertrude Stein.

You are all a lost generation. ~ 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.

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.

We are always the same age inside. ~ 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. ~ Gertrude Stein.

If fishes were wishes the ocean would be all of our desire. ~ Gertrude Stein.

If you are looking down while you are walking it is better to walk uphill the ground is nearer. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Nothing could bother me more than the way a thing goes dead once it has been said. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Once upon a time the world was round, and you could go on it around and around. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Writers only think they are interested in politics, they are not really, it gives them a chance to talk and writers like to talk but really no real writer is really interested in politics. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Famous Gertrude Stein Quotes

Whenever you get there, there is no there there. ~ 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.

I like a thing simple but it must be simple through complication. Everything must come into your scheme, otherwise you cannot achieve real simplicity. ~ 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.

Remarks are not literature. ~ Gertrude Stein.

You attract what you need like a lover. ~ Gertrude Stein.

You are extraordinary within your limits, but your limits are extraordinary! ~ Gertrude Stein.

I like the feeling of words doing as they want to do and as they have to do. ~ Gertrude Stein.

To complicate things in new ways, that is really very easy; but to see things in new ways, that is difficult and that is why genius is so rare. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Profound Gertrude Stein Quotes

I have been the creative literary mind of the century. ~ Gertrude Stein.

More and more I am certain that the only difference between man and animals is that men can count and animals cannot and if they count they mostly do count money… ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

Anything scares me, anything scares anyone but really after all considering how dangerous everything is nothing is really very frightening. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

The artist works by locating the world in himself. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Action and reaction are equal and opposite. ~ Gertrude Stein.

Deep Gertrude Stein Quotes

Suppose no one asked a question. What would the answer be? ~ Gertrude Stein.

I am I because my little dog knows me. ~ Gertrude Stein.

What is the use of being a little boy if you are growing up to be a man. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

Well money is not easy to describe. It is easy to lose but it cannot be lost, and no one can get really get used to it. ~ 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.

America is my country and Paris is my hometown. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

Romance is everything. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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

Thoughtful Gertrude Stein Quotes

August is a month when if it is hot weather it is really very hot. ~ 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.

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

Water astonishing and difficult altogether makes a meadow and a stroke. ~ Gertrude Stein.

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


It takes a heap of loafing to write a book. ~ 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.

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. ~ Gertrude Stein.

So these were the 103 top Gertrude Stein quotes about money, writing, art, love and Paris.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on John Quincy Adams quotes and Josephine Baker quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar