Gertrude Stein and Napoleon were pointing the way. I just needed to follow.
I’VE GOTTEN OUT OF my post-from-the-memoir habit on Fridays, in part because there’s been so much fun stuff happening in the rest of my life that I just had to remain in the present tense. But now, in a reboot, I’m paying homage to memoirists and writers who I’m tagging along behind in this game. Where would a writer be without somebody much smarter to envy and emulate?
Here’s to all the geniuses I’ve loved before.
“I remember not long ago hearing Picasso and Gertrude Stein talking about various things that had happened at that time, one of them said but all that could not have happened in that one year, oh said the other, my dear you forget we were young then and we did a great deal in a year.”
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein
“When we gradually fell into keeping late hours and late company, I noticed that [Herbert Pocket] looked about him with a desponding eye at breakfast time; that he began to look about him more hopefully at mid-day; that he drooped when he came into dinner; that he seemed to descry Capitol in the distance rather clearly after dinner; that he all but realized Capital towards midnight; and that at about two o’clock in the morning he became so deeply despondent again as to talk of buying a rifle and going to America, with a general purpose of compelling buffaloes to make his fortune.”
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
“To understand the man you have to know what was happening in the world when he was twenty.”
“Arthur Dayson, though a very good shorthand writer, and not without experience as a newspaper reporter and sub-editor, was a nincompoop.”
Hilda Lessways, Arnold Bennet
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
I think Yogi probably meant to say “you’ll end up elsewhere.” It has a certain ring to it.