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Hyperallergic is all Gertrude Stein all the Time Time Time Time

By Harriet Staff


This weekend’s Hyperallergic wraps up this previous weekend’s marathon reading of Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans, hosted by Triple Canopy. Morten Høi Jensen reports on the madness, from the gory aftermath.

If you are going to read Gertrude Stein’s titanic novel The Making of Americans — the Dalkey paperback is a little over 900 pages long — why not spare your eyes and have someone read it to you? This past weekend, the magazine Triple Canopy offered to do just that: for the third year running it staged a marathon reading of Stein’s “enormously long and allegedly unreadable novel,” beginning Friday night and concluding, somewhat ominously, “sometime around 10pm” on Sunday evening (it ended up being closer to 8pm). A who’s-who of Brooklyn book wonks, artists, and scholars read for approximately fifteen minutes each, with longer gaps of time allotted for walk-ins and the odd musical interlude. Mushroom sandwiches from the Alice B. Toklas cookbook, to say nothing of welcome shelter from the numbing cold, were likewise on offer.

For those of us who mostly tuned in via Triple Canopy’s fuzzy live stream, the event was as much about the coming and going of the audience as it was about Stein’s modernist assault on prose. In a largely bare room with American flags draped on the walls, several rows of folding chairs faced a solitary reading table. Large speakers projected the somber voices into the silence as they went about shoveling their way through Stein’s anti-prose. (At one point, as if from exhaustion, the camera keeled over and streamed an odd angle of the ceiling for two hours). Some audience members broadcast their reactions on Twitter: “Oh shit Louis CK just walked in maybe he’ll take a slot?” […]

Is it so? Read the rest at Hyperallergic and [dainty-like] lick your lips as much as we did. Hope to go next year!

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Posted in Poetry News on Monday, February 3rd, 2014 by Harriet Staff.