What Would Gertrude Stein Say? Visit This Statue And Find Out

What would Gertrude Stein say?

In most cases, the answer would likely be “If Napoleon if I told him if I told him if Napoleon,” or perhaps, for special occasions, “The devil what the devil what do I care if the devil is there.”

But to be absolutely sure, starting in July, you can visit Stein’s statue in New York City’s Bryant Park.

That statue is one of 35 across the city’s five boroughs to be included in Talking Statues NYC. Using a smartphone app by the statue, you’ll be able to hear a monologue in Stein’s voice, written by a contemporary author and performed by an actor.

The project, which originated in Denmark, is intended to give new life to the city’s diverse history. Since debuting in Copenhagen, the project has reached cities across the United States and Europe, including Chicago and Helsinki.

“With 800 languages spoken, New York is the most diverse city in the world,” commented Talking Statues founder David Peter Fox in a press release. In addition to English, the New York statues will speak a selection of languages including Dutch, Spanish, Danish and Greek to reflect on the historical events to which they relate.

So what will Gertrude Stein say? Her work reimagined what language can do. Reinterpreted over 70 years after her death, we can only hope she’ll sound just as fresh.


Talya Zax

Talya Zax

Talya Zax is the Forward’s deputy culture editor. Contact her at zax@forward.com or on Twitter, @TalyaZax.

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What Would Gertrude Stein Say? Visit This Statue And Find Out

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