Monday, March 28

Paragraphs from Stein, 2

"A creator who creates, who is not an academician, who is not some one who studies in a school where the rules are already known and of course being known they no longer exist, a creator then who creates is necessarily of his generation. His generation lives in its contemporary way, but they only live in it. In art, in literature, in the theatre, in short in everything that does not contribute to their immediate comfort they live in the preceding generation. It is very simple, to-day in the streets of Paris, horses, even tramcars can no longer exist but horses and tramcars are only suppressed, only when they cause too many complications, they are suppressed but sixty years too late. Lord Grey said when the war broke out, that the generals thought of a war of the nineteeth century even when the instruments of war were of the twentieth century and only when the war was at its heighth did the generals understand that it was a war of the twentieth century and not a war of the nineteenth century. That is what the academic spirit is, it is not contemporary, of course not, and so it can not be creative because the only thing that is creative in a creator is the contemporary thing. Of course."

--Gertrude Stein
fr. "Picasso"
in Gertrude Stein: Writings 1932-1946
[New York: The Library of America, 1998]

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