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 Gertrude Stein (1874-1946)


"Those who are creating the modern composition authentically are naturally only of importance when they are dead because by that time the modern composition having become past is classified and the description of it is classical. That is the reason why the creator of the new composition in the arts is an outlaw until he is a classic, there is hardly a moment in between and it is really too bad very much too bad naturally for the creator but also very much too bad for the enjoyer, they all really would enjoy the created so much better just after it has been made than when it is already a classic, but it is perfectly simple that there is no reason why the contemporaries should see, because it would not make any difference as they lead their lives in the new composition anyway, and as every one is naturally indolent why naturally they don't see. For this reason as in quoting Lord Grey it is quite certain that nations not actively threatened are at least several generations behind themselves militarily so aesthetically they are more than several generations behind themselves and it is very much too bad, it is so very much more exciting and satisfactory for everbody if one can have contemporaries, if all one's contemporaries could be one's contemporaries."

"Composition as Explanation" (1926)


The Photographic Record


Alvin Langdon Coburn (1882-1966), Gertrude Stein, 1913


Collection of Leo and Gertrude Stein in the studio, 27 rue de Fleurus


Man Ray, Gertrude Stein and Picasso's Portrait (1922)





Last Revised on Thursday, August 28, 2003