February third and the birthday we are celebrating is the amazing Gertrude Stein February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946.
One must dare to be happy
Gertrude was quite something, an experimental writer, a very out lesbian. One of her books is The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas (Alice was her lover – Hemingway refered to her as Stein’s wife) She also wrote several other pieces Miss Furr and Miss Skeene, Q.E.D., and Tender Buttons, which explored lesbian relationships and is credited with the first use of the word Gay for people like us.
If you can’t say anything nice about anyone else, come sit next to me.
She was one of those Americans in Paris, buying modern art, holding a saturday Salon and mixing with artists, musicians and writers. She and Alice stayed put in France (though not in Paris) throughout the German occupation, with a German officer billeted on them, stoically making omelettes (I know I’ve read that somewhere – probably in Wars I have Seen) and managing not to get arrested despite being Jewish as well as lesbians because of protection from a friend who was a collaborator.
Nothing is really so very frightening when everything is so very dangerous
A full and dramatic life, Gertrude would be an asset at a party. Might have to find some Absinthe though …
You look ridiculous if you dance
You look ridiculous if you don’t dance
So you might as well