Gertrude Stein’s Apology

Look outside. The hot sun, the flawless sky. Other than the season, today is like another day.

“It was a very lovely spring day, Gertrude Stein had been going to the opera every night and going also to the opera in the afternoon and had been otherwise engrossed and it was the period of the final examinations, and there was the examination in William James’ course. She sat down with the examination paper before her and she just could not. Dear Professor James, she wrote at the top of her paper. I am so sorry but really I do not feel a bit like an examination paper in philosophy to-day, and left.

“The next day she had a postal card from William James saying, Dear Miss Stein, I understand perfectly how you feel I often feel like that myself. And underneath it he gave her work the highest mark in his course.”

Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

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Filed under Jean Zimmerman, Writers, Writing

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