Why Do Something If It Can Be Done: Quoting Gertrude Stein # 8

Post # 8: “To have a hat it is as pleasant as that to have a hat.” Arrival in New York, Oct. 24, 1934, welcomed by the press.

“The descriptions of what Miss Stein wore, by the male band of reporters, were sometimes more extreme than the clothes themselves. …Her hat was called a braumeister’s cap, a deerstalker’s cap and a grouse-hunter’s cap. It was a small gray tweed, it was mannish, its brim turned down ‘visor-like so that it gave a squirrel-like appearance to her face.’ One observer explained:
‘A strange article, apparently a compromise between feminine toque and male cap; black and white tweed, with visor in front and coy upcurl at rear.’
Another… ‘A Stein hat, a hat as persistent as the repetitions which are a feature of her abstruse writings. … Peaked in front…it roamed backward tightly…to fold at the rear; a gay hat which gave her the appearance of having just sprung from Robin Hood’s forest.’…
…the hat that attracted so much attention was old. It was especially modeled for miss Stein after a Louis XIII, that is, thirteenth century hat which Miss Toklas saw and liked in the Cluny Museum. In answer to a question, Miss Stein said:
‘It’s just a hat.’” (From W. G. Rogers, “When This You See Remember Me”
The New Yorker featured a cartoon with two customs officials next to a ship, looking at some paper forms, puzzled: “It begins like this: ‘Gertrude says four hats is a hat is a hat.’ What the hell can you make out of a declaration like that, chief?”

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