Monday, January 7, 2013

7 January “Early Recording of Great Writers & The ‘Through Leavery’ of Things”


I thought it might be interesting to hear early recordings of great writers. To hear an author’s voice can sometimes bring magic to the printed page. Thought these first two are rather hard to hear, their being so very old, they are none the less interesting.

This first is Robert Browning from 1889. An amazing feat for the time:

The book “A Day With Browning"” is available free in the will be in the Library under Poetry.

This early recording of Oscar Wilde is a bit more audible and to share the beauty of the poem, it is followed by a very well read version one can hear better. However, I include this second version for the joy of oddities sake. It is again a computerized version of a photo come to life. I can only mention the Uncanny Valley again to explain the odd feeling one gets when confronted with an almost human representation that seems just a bit off. But, it is fun in some sense and the reading is done quite well.


Here is the odd little reading:

sackvillewest20sportrait This phonograph recording of Vita Sackville_West is quite good. I love the scratch and ramble of the old discs upon the gramophone. Say what you will about modern clarity and improvements in sound. That lilt and lift of the needle and pop and crackle still bring me little moments of joy that only punctuate the sound with more glee.

Unfortunately, Sackville-West novels still hold a copyright, but one can find them at good prices. HERE in the store I have All Passions Spent, a novel by West that was also made into a miniseries in the 1980s. The book is around $11. There is also an early edition for around $20 HERE.

Here is an early recording for the BBC aired in 1950 featuring Sackville-West discussing “walking through leaves”. I love how she uses the term Through Leaves as a joyful adverb and adjective to things of singular importance.

Vita Sackville-West, to those who don’t know, was a writer and famous Gardener of her day. Her work on Sissinghurst castle, her home, can still be enjoyed today as it is managed by the National Trust. Here is a lovely little video someone made of a trip to Sissinghurst.

And finally a recording of Virginia Woolf from the 1930s. I will put all of Woolf’s work that is available for free in the Library under Fiction. I will add them as I find so check back there for more of her works.

Here is a fun work by her I have always loved entitled: Flush “an imaginative biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cocker spaniel, is a cross-genre blend of fiction and nonfiction by Virginia Woolf published in 1933.”

Have a lovely day.

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