Loving repeating: Gertrude Stein again again again


Gert went yesterday to the sweet, funny, raunchy musical Loving Repeating by  Frank Galati, based on the life and writings of Gertrude Stein.

Melbourne readers, it’s on at Chapel Off Chapel till February 8th, so scurry off and see it. We know a lot about Stein’s intelligence and her ego, not so much about her heart. That’s what this little gem, in an hour and a quarter of literary and physical high jinks, gives us. You’ll come out with a new understanding of the Great Stoneface as a human being.

Of course, this reminded Gert of the unpublished Stein manuscript that is in her exclusive possession.  So here is another excerpt, this time involving cats.

One talks with meaning or tinkles. Tinkling is a sound that is sound in its own right. This does not mean that tinkling is sense or nonsense, or nonsense or sense. To see the difference takes time but may only lead to comparisons. In Jugoslavia they hate comparisons. That is, it is said that they hate comparisons. The people of Kansas City do not understand comparisons. Because they are in Kansas City they do not understand. However, one cannot be sure that if they were somewhere else they would understand. Understand understanding or comparisons. Or sense or nonsense. Or the difference between things that are different and things that are the same. To be different one does not always have to want to be different. If one tries to be the same that sameness will not always be perceived as being the same by others. I knew a woman who had three cats. One day I visited her and saw four cats in her living room. But I knew that she was the same. While I was there the man came to clean the windows. I knew he was different because I could see that he had trouble understanding the presence of four cats. He seemed to want to say that it was not right. That the extra cat did not make the situation better. He did not say it, probably because I was there. People do not like to speak when I am present. Seven months and four days later I strode into the street.


You can read more of the Stein manuscript here  and again here


Image: zorger women and cat


13 thoughts on “Loving repeating: Gertrude Stein again again again

  1. It is so wonderful to be still discovering the work of Ms Stein. Thank you, thank you. Such a solid foundation for the 20th century. There is a second page to that manuscript. The ink has faded but it reads something like this as best I can tell:

    “One talks of cats but takes no pleasure because you cannot spoil them like dogs as they will not behave as one would like them. Dogs like baskets and cats do tinkle on carpets as well as dogs in Paris. Of course if one says chien instead of dog we know tinkiling cannot be far away. This is because French is not German and if one writer is showing us both things then she is a fine writer and tells many truths about cats and dogs and Paris. This is because the writing is clear and written by an old granny knitting scrambled eggs. and socks for the newspaper reporter before he wore the hat made of felt “

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