As birds as well as words (Gertrude Stein on the way Chaucer sounds)

You do remember Chaucer, even if you have not read him you do remember not how it looks but how it sounds, how simply it sounds as it sounds. That is as I say because the words were there. They had not yet to be chosen, they had only has yet to be there just there.

That makes a sound that gently sings that gently sounds but sounds as sounds. It sounds as sounds of course as words but it sounds as sounds. It sounds as sounds that is to say as birds as well as words. And that is because the words are there, they are not chosen as words, they are already there. That is the way Chaucer sounds.

From Gertrude Stein’s lecture “What Is English Literature” (no question mark); collected in Look at Me Now and Here I Am.

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