Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France.
Gertrude Stein, the youngest of a family of five children, was born on February 3, 1874, in Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Allegheny, Pennsylvania
Allegheny City was a Pennsylvania municipality located on the north side of the junction of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, across from downtown Pittsburgh. It was annexed by Pittsburgh in 1907...

 (merged with Pittsburgh in 1907) to well-educated German Jewish parents, Daniel and Amelia Stein. Her father was a railroad executive whose investments in streetcar lines and real estate made the family wealthy.

When Gertrude was three years old she and her family moved for business, first to Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and then Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...


From the very nature of progress, all ages must be transitional. If they were not, the world would be at a stand-still and death would speedily ensue. It is one of the tamest of platitudes but it is always introduced by a flourish of trumpets.

"Form and Intelligibility," from The Radcliffe Manuscripts (1949); written in 1894 as an undergraduate at Radcliffe College

Argument is to me the air I breathe. Given any proposition, I cannot help believing the other side and defending it.

"Form and Intelligibility," from The Radcliffe Manuscripts (1949); written in 1895 as an undergraduate at Radcliffe College

The whole duty of man consists in being reasonable and just... I am reasonable because I know the difference between understanding and not understanding and I am just because I have no opinion about things I don’t understand.

Manuscript (1903), published in Q.E.D. Book 1, from Q.E.D., and Other Early Writings (1971)

A beauty is not suddenly in a circle. It comes with rapture. A great deal of beauty is rapture. A circle is a necessity. Otherwise you would see no one. We each have our circle.

"A Circular Play," from Last Operas and Plays (1949) [written in 1920]

It is always a mistake to be plain-spoken.

"As Eighty," from Bee Time Vine (1953, Yale University Press); written in 1923

No sense in no sense innocence of what of not and what of delight. In no sense innocence in no sense and what in delight and not, in no sense innocence in no sense no sense what, in no sense and delight, and in no sense and delight and not in no sense and delight and not, no sense in no sense innocence and delight.

"Are There Arithmetics" (28 May 1927) [written in 1923]

Let me recite what history teaches. History teaches.

If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso|If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso (1923). First published in Vanity Fair.

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

Letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald (22 May 1925), published in Fitzgerald's The Crack-Up (1945)

Before the flowers of friendship faded friendship faded.

This phrase was used as the title of a work published in 1931, but was originally used in Ch. LXII of A Novel of Thank You, written in 1925-1926, but not published until 1958 by the Yale University Press

All of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation... You have no respect for anything. You drink yourselves to death.

Statement quoted by Ernest Hemingway in A Moveable Feast (1964) Ch. 3, it had also provided the epigraph to The Sun Also Rises|The Sun Also Rises (1926).