Post # 3 in anticipation of my photobiography coming out again at Algonquin (after having been a collector’s item!)
I want to add a word to my last post on fame. A topic so important to all of us. Success, fame, the dream of recognition — the very thing that got Gertrude Stein to feel “completely lost” when it happened to her. In my last post I told you the story, but here is a quote that gave me a shock when I came upon it by paging through my many gathered quotes. She seems to be speaking directly to us, today. The quote gives me a vertigo because of its immediate relevance, its questioning, its thought-provoking emotions…
“Picasso used to be fond of saying that when everybody knew about you and admired your work there were just about the same two or three who were really interested as when nobody knew about you, but does it make any difference. In writing the Making of Americans I said I write for myself and strangers and then later now I know these strangers, are they still strangers, well anyway that too does not really bother me, the only thing that really bothers me is that the earth now is all covered over with people and that hearing anybody is not of any particular importance because anybody can know anybody.
That is really why the only novels possible these days are detective stories, where the only person of any importance is dead.” (Everybody’s Autobiography)