What Is Gertrude Stein Talking About?

Provoked by the fascinating Ken Burns series “Hemingway” now on PBS I’ve been trying to understand Gertrude Stein. She wrote this, what does it mean?

“Callous is something that hardening leaves behind what will be soft if there is a genuine interest in there being present as many girls as men. Does this change. It shows that dirt is clean when there is a volume.

A cushion has that cover. Supposing you do not like to change, supposing it is very clean that there is no change in appearance, supposing that there is regularity and a costume is that any the worse than an oyster and an exchange. Come to season that is there any extreme use in feather and cotton. Is there not much more joy in a table and more chairs and very likely roundness and a place to put them.

A circle of fine card board and a chance to see a tassel.”

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Telling

Matt Gaetz in his 2020 book, “Firebrand: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the MAGA Revolution”:

“I have an active social life, and it’s probably easier in the era of Trump. We’ve had ‘perfect family man’ presidents before, after all, and many of those men sold out our country, even if their wives were happy the whole time. If politicians’ family lives aren’t what really matter to the voters, maybe that’s a good thing. I’m a representative, not a monk.

We’ve got a president now who doesn’t care for puritanical grandstanding or moralistic preening. He is a lot more direct — even visceral, open, and realistic — about his likes and dislikes. So overall, this is a good time to be a fun-loving politician instead of a stick-in-the-mud.”