Here is another extract from the unpublished manuscript of Gertrude Stein unearthed by our colleague Denis Kodaly. Previous posts were on May 14 and June 11.
Endings can be nice, but not always desirable. A house can have an ending but is rarely totally desirable. People can carry an ending with them, or just the memory of an ending, and not feel ridiculous. On the other hand, how can one carry a house everywhere? Unless one is a snail or some other invertebrate, one would not like to burdened with a house. This argument will lead to an ending, an ending which most people can understand. To talk of understanding may be to talk of sense. In the common parlance nonsense cannot be understood. It may be appreciated by a select few but it is not understood by the person in the street. No matter where the street may be, understanding is not there. There among the people that walk, talk or exist in the street. I have been in many streets. I have not been impressed by my having been in many streets, but I have been there none the less. Perhaps. I was recognized, because nobody talked to me of sense or nonsense. My being there may have brought to light the issue of sense and meaning. People were loth to speak to me, or to anybody else while I was in the street. I do not say that they loathed me, but they said nothing. I remember walking in a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio. There was a dress shop with two mannequins in the window. One mannequin was wearing a red dress and a black hat and the other was wearing a blue dress but no hat. Next door was a boot repair shop, and directly across the street was a shop with no name but with a grand piano in the window. Nobody seemed to understand the significance of such an arrangement. I looked at people but their faces were blank. I said nothing and they said nothing. The situation was amazing. Nobody from Kansas City could have understood it. I knew and I understood that I knew. Others may know that they know, or think that they know that they know. This does not always indicate understanding. The bell tinkles and its tinkling is taken to be tinkling. Tinkling is not usually connected with sense.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/su-lin/3331891262