Fascinating Character--Gertrude Stein

"Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense." ~Gertrude Stein

A Jewish-American writer and poet who died in 1946, Stein was a mix of many talents and interests. She studied psychology under the eye of famous psychologist William James, embryology at The Marine Biological Laboratory, and then attended two years of medical school at Johns Hopkins. 

Initially, Gertrude's fame came from her art collection of famous artist's works which she housed in Paris. 

"Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose," is her line from a poem called Sacred Emily, and her famous book, Tender Buttons, is almost stream of consciousness--renown psychologist B. F. Skinner thought it was automatic handwriting!

Gertrude wrote for sound rather than sense, which brings us to "sense" in her quote. How could a woman of the early 20th century feel there is an overload of information? I don't know. Perhaps each generation feels the same and we aren't as different from past generations as we think!

Here is her Wiki Page and her Books. If you want to read Tender Buttons and see what B.F. Skinner was talking about, .go here It's an experience. :-)


  1. That is a great quote. What would she think of our generation of information overload. I know I feel its effect.

  2. I'm thinking texting, emailing, facebooking, and twittering would overload her into a coma. I Googled "television," and regular commercial programming didn't begin until 1948, so TV wasn't a factor in her overwhelmed feelings. I wonder what the factors were? Too many newspapers? :D