Gertrude Stein Quotes

Gertrude Stein (1874-1926)

Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein. Jewish Chronicle/Heritage Images/Getty Images

American expatriate writer, her Paris home was a salon for artists and writers between the two World Wars. She lived with her companion Alice B. Toklas from 1912 until her death.

Selected Gertrude Stein Quotations

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

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

• Paris was the place that suited us who were to create the twentieth century art and literature.

• A diary means yes indeed.

• 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.

• Artists do not experiment. Experiment is what scientists do; they initiate an operation of unknown factors to be instructed by its results. An artist puts down what he knows and at every moment it is what he knows at that moment.

• 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.

• The Jews have produced only three originative geniuses: Christ, Spinoza, and myself.

• In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. This is what makes America what it is.

• 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.

• Let me listen to me and not to them.

• 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.

• We are always the same age inside.

• Any one doing something and standing is one doing something and standing. Some one was doing something and was standing.

Any one doing something and standing is one doing something and standing. Any one doing something and standing is one who is standing and doing something. Some one was doing something and was standing. That one was doing something standing.

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

• Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone.

• The composition is the thing seen by everyone living in the living they are doing, they are the composing of the composition that at the time they are living is the composition of the time in which they are living.

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

• 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.

• Money is always there but the pockets change.

• The thing that differentiates man from animals is money.

• If you can do it then why do it?

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

• It is the soothing thing about history that it does repeat itself.

• Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.

Explore Women's Voices and Women's History

About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Gertrude Stein Quotes." About Women's History. URL: . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Gertrude Stein Quotes." ThoughtCo, Oct. 2, 2021, Lewis, Jone Johnson. (2021, October 2). Gertrude Stein Quotes. Retrieved from Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Gertrude Stein Quotes." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 5, 2023).