Why Do Something If It Can Be Done: Quoting Gertrude Stein # 28

I promised to give you another few stunning examples of Gertrude’s sense of a paragraph:

“I began to get enormously interested in hearing how everybody said the same thing over and over again with infinite variations but over and over again until finally if you listened with great intensity you could hear it rise and fall and tell all that that there was in them, not so much by their actual words they said or the thoughts they had but by the movement of their thoughts and words endlessly the same and endlessly different.” (Lectures in America)
To my ear, this is very beautiful writing, very musical, poetic, intensely emotional and satisfying. And I have an example of her early writing, where she begins to develop this life-long theme of “saying the same thing over and over”:
“Loving repeating is one way of being. This is now a description of such being. Loving repeating is in a way earth feeling. Some children have loving repeating for little things and story-tellling, some have it as a more bottom being. Slowly this comes out in them in all their children being, in their eating, playing, crying, and laughing. Loving repeating is then in a way earth feeling. This is very strong in many, in children and in old age being. This is very strong in many in all ways of humorous being, this is very strong in some from their beginning to their ending.” (The Making of Americans)

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