Cows And Literature

“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.”

A splendid example of the intersection of cows and literature, from a 1934 New Yorker profile of Gertrude Stein quoted in Daily Routines (How writers, artists, and other interesting people organise their days), an excellent new blog. Among those so far included are Franz Kafka, Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, and Anthony Trollope. Neither Dobson nor Pebblehead has yet been attended to, and I may have to deal with those two titans myself.

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