The apartment at 27 Rue de Fleurus in Paris was a sanctuary for writers, intellectuals, artists, and critics, the "Lost Generation," that included Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Picasso, Matisse and others who rejected the values of post World War I.
These cultural legends searched for meaning as they created. The owner of the apartment and creative catalyst, Gertrude Stein (1874-1946), was born on this date in Allegheny, Pennsylvania.
The eccentric, avant-garde writer, known for saying, "rose is a rose is a rose is a rose," called her tendency to write repetitions to be "insistance." Others called it automatic or stream-of-consciousness writing.
"A difference between a noun and a verb is not seen in wishes and wishes," she advised in her collection How to Write (1931). "Forget grammar and think about potatoes."
In her most popular book, Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), Stein used the voice of her life partner to document the hub of discussions, creativity, and advice that took place at 27 Rue de Fleurus.
"Considering how dangerous everything is, nothing is really frightening," observed the idiosyncratic Stein, who called herself "the greatest mind of the twentieth century."
Hold on to your common sense.