The Curious Habits of Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas

Miss Stein has an outsize bathtub that was espe­cially made for her. A stair­case had to be taken out to install it. After her bath she puts on a huge wool bathrobe and writes for a while, but she prefers to write outdoors, after she gets dressed. Especially in the Ain country, because there are rocks and cows there. Miss Stein likes to look at rocks and cows in the inter­vals of her writing. The two ladies drive around in their Ford till they come to a good spot. Then Miss Stein gets out and sits on a camp­stool with pencil and pad, and Miss Toklas fear­lessly switches a cow into her line of vision. If the cow doesn’t seem to fit in with Miss Stein’s mood, the ladies get into the car and drive on to another cow. When the great lady has an inspi­ra­tion, she writes quickly, for about fifteen minutes. But often she just sits there, looking at cows and not turning a wheel.”

– Janet Flanner, James Thurber, and Harold Ross, The New Yorker, October 13, 1934

via Daily Routines

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