#152: Gertrude Stein on the Beach

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Writing, and doing
something like research
for the new novel,
I spend the weekend
with Gertrude Stein
at the Sylvia Beach
Hotel. My character
had been there before
me, learns that Stein
was against the question
mark on principle,
enjoyed a view as
long as her back was
turned against it,
wrote a novel, called
it an autobiography,
and allowed its main
character, a real person,
to speak mostly about
Gertrude Stein. My
character, out of his
element, doesn’t under-
stand. He enjoys a
good view facing
forward, believes the
question mark has an
important function, and
believes that things are
what they are and should
be called by their actual
names. He also learns
that Stein loved art and
surrounded herself with
the greatest artists of her
time. He likes art, too,
and is there to meet a
friend, a painter, and
there’s a quote on the wall
that he cannot stop reading,
will never forget:
rose is a rose is a rose.

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