Gertrude Stein Mrs. Reynolds (Los Angeles: Sun and Moon Press, 1995).
were in the sky, rosy clouds and dark clouds and white clouds and silver
clouds. Whichever clouds there were, she noticed them and she looked
[William and his wife] but mostly they had other kind of people with
The ones they knew best were two men.
The one was Angel Harper. He became very well known but they [Mr.
and Mrs. Reynolds] did not know him any more then.
The other was older he was Joseph Lane. He had bushy eyebrows and
was older than any of them and it did not make any difference to him
how young he was or how old he was. (24)
not be very likely that they would be either going out or coming in at
the same time.
Anyway neither the brothers nor the sisters-in-law met, they really
and make them march. Some do. He did not. He sat and when he sat,
he sat. Enough said.
He talked to himself and he said, all the same. And when said all the
same he meant it. (68)
ate what he ate and he was bitter, nobody saw him just then and he
was bitter and little by little it was as much worse and he water bitter.
Reynolds what every one said. They said that suddenly in
September 1940 the United States of America instead of being
a big flat land illimitably flat, the land against which Christopher
Columbus bumped himself in 1492 became a part of the round
world that goes around and around.****
fifty-one than he had been then it was time that trains stopped
puffing and that chairs were not there to sit in and that hens
stopped laying eggs and when cows saw snow it excited them
and they jumped around and perhaps some of them broke their
leg. Angel Harper was fifty-on and there was no longing no
longing for anything.
This is perfectly well known. She said spiders can exaggerate but
months and days. She was fairly fortunate because after all prophecies
do come true yes they do.
in forests and mountains where the Germans shall be called the most
war-like people of the earth.
It will happen that the time will come when a war the most terrible
war in the world will happen and mothers will weep for their children
and will not be consoled.
From the Danube the war will commence and will be a horrible war
on earth, on the sea and even in the air, and warriors will rise in the
air to seize stars to throw them down upon cities and make them the
cities burst into flames.
*Presumably the “peace” of which Stein is writing is the end of World War I. In actuality, the armistice that ended that War was on Monday (“the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”), but we can forgive Stein’s carrying it over until the next day, perhaps the day when she first heard the news. The same war, however, is generally cited as having begun on a Tuesday, July 28, 1914, just as she claims in Mrs. Reynolds.