1,1 only 1…

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Even literary plebians can be as fearsomely witty as the writers they purport to read. Gertrude Stein’s editor, A. J. Fifield, (bless her) once rejected one of her submissions as follows:

I am only one, only one, only one. Only one being, one at the same time. Not two, not three, only one. Only one life to live, only sixty minutes in one hour. Only one pair of eyes. Only one brain. Only one being. Being only one, having only one pair of eyes, having only one time, having only one life, I cannot read your manuscript three or four times. Not even one time. Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly one.”

It’s a wonderful little mantra to repeat when you’re just swamped by work, or if you want to simply confuse your overbearing boss.

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