The Hyphenation of Americans


Related works: Hy-Ph-En, The Hyphenation, Of Americans.

For some reason, the hyphenated words found in Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans caught my eye. Their overabundance struck me. They stuck to my reading, as appendages denoting interruption. Breaks of words, but also breaks at the core of the American project, as if the famous first scene of the book was constantly reenacted in those pesky hyphens, insistence to repeat, stuck in its violent behavior.

Unfinished bookwork based on the hyphenated words found in Gertrude Stein, The Making of Americans (that is, the words that need to be hyphenated because they do not fit on a line). There are 3107 of them. Sample draft pages from the book included here (design by Jay Wilson).

Front and back covers: All the hyphens found in the book [the vertical lines indicate pages] [not all hyphens are visible in these sample covers]

First section: Harmican (Rehyphe Natedessay) [faux intro essay]

Second section: Lessharm (Left on Left and Right on Right) [main section] [3 sample page spreads included here]

Third section: Ingexist (Halves Inversed) [section in columns] [a faux index]