Is It Possible to Read The Making of Americans from First Sentence to Last?

No, it is not possible to read The Making of Americans from first sentence to last.**

Not possible unless you gather 150 readers for one long weekend of around-the-clock public reading, among the participants writers and artists come out to celebrate the grand opening of 155 Freeman -- a non-profit educational collective promoting their trifecta of literary, visual, and electronic art -- and divvy up the nearly 1,000 page gigantome of the tiniest print into, on average, fifteen to twenty minute reading installments per speaker, so that each reader gradually chips away at Gertrude Stein's Everest of prose until every last syllable of it has been artfully enunciated from the podium.  See the list of all who took a bite out of The Making of Americans in the group read held in NYC over the long weekend of January 20th, 2012.

Note that Joseph McElroy, author of his own Gargantua, Women and Men, read the first evening of the group read.  I like him.  I like his writing a lot.  More to say about him in a future post ....

**Notable exceptions include William H. Gass and Steven Meyer, who wrote the respective foreword and introduction to the Dalkey Archive edition of the book.


  1. I did not finish, but I reckon I made it much farther than most! It has a distinct rythm and would work well read aloud. I do not imagine anyone sits through it all...


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