Beginning in 1974, Paula Cooper Gallery hosted an annual reading of Gertrude Stein’s epic novel The Making of Americans around New Year’s Eve, with scores of people taking turns reading sections of the lengthy text. The event ran each year through 2000. (At the suggestion of John Cage, they switched to James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake for two of those years.) Earlier this year, the online arts journal Triple Canopy revived the practice at 155 Freeman, the Greenpoint culture venue that is also home to Light Industry and the Public School, hosting a read from Jan. 20 through 22.
The New York Times‘ architecture critic, Michael Kimmelman, formerly the paper’s chief art critic, has a long piece in The New York Review of Books about “The Stein’s Collect” show at the Met. There are some interesting points about the Steins as something more like an “incubator” than simply collectors with a tasteful eye for young artists:
Triple Canopy, the nonprofit online arts magazine, will be inaugurating their new arts and culture center at 155 Freeman in Greenpoint with a marathon reading of Gertrude Stein’s 900-page novel The Making of Americans. The reading will likely take about 48 hours (January 20-22), or at least that’s how long it usually took at Paula Cooper Gallery, where members of the downtown art scene would gather on New Year’s Eve from 1974 to 2000 to read Stein’s novel straight through (for a couple of years they read Finnegans Wake because John Cage was bored with Stein).
“We’ve been timing ourselves,” said Sam Frank, an editor at Triple Canopy who is organizing the event. He said he’s shooting for 48 hours, but “whatever happens will happen.”