Leaving the salacious and political behind in Banned Books Week, we turn to poignancy and humor this week, with two pieces of modern fiction and the continuation of Tom Jones.
When he came back, by Michael Daigle
Read by Diane Havens
” I wanted you to be a door, something with a knob I could grasp and turn and step through into a new place. But you were only a mirror.”
How do writers get their ideas? What inspires them? Broadly, life. More specifically, it can be anything, from those things that amuse us, make us wonder, fear, like, love or loathe. I asked Michael what inspired this piece and he told me he was paging through his high school yearbook from Fulton, NY, and began to imagine what might have happened to these young faces, young lovers.
This conversation the protagonist has with herself reminds me of the process an actor takes in rehearsal. Whether as an actor or director, I always made the early rehearsals about immersion and backstory, fleshing out what’s not in the text but is definitely between the lines. So I’d often write such a conversation with myself, a diary entry of sorts, for the character I’d be playing and I’d ask the actors I directed to do the same. Of course, it was never as beautifully written as these impassioned words addressed to the world.
I love the way Mr. Daigle writes so philosophically, eloquently and poetically about common occurrences and everyday things. We all have a Stephen in our lives — if we’re lucky.
Ashes to Ashes, No. 3 from Little (Flash) Fiction, by Peg Daniels
Read by Xe Sands
Copyright 2012 Peg Daniels
Published 2012 by Little Fiction
Recorded with permission from author and publisher
Continuing this week with the third story from the excellent, Little (flash) Fiction collection – this time, a little irreverent, crass humor to lighten us up a bit.
One of the great things about flash fiction is that you only get a snapshot – like you’re standing under an open window, listening in on the conversation of this family, worn out from grief and the matriarch’s antics, and heard a snippet of conversation. You can smell the Jack Daniels and hear the clinking of glasses, smell the cigarette smoke…and then the window is unceremoniously slammed shut and you are left to wonder what was said after you moved on.
Tom Jones – Book 1, Chapter 12, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
Chapter 12 of Tom Jones.
This is part of an ongoing project in which I will record and post one chapter per week of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones over the course of four years.
The Blifil Brothers’ plan has one last step: and that’s to gauge Mr. Allworthy’s opinion of The Captain’s marriage to Bridget. The Doctor’s opening gambit is to disown his brother and to declare him a scoundrel, but to his surprise, Allworthy is all for Bridget pursuing his own happiness.
Allworthy also gives out some bizarrely practical advice: his opinion on marriage is not to ignore the questions of personal wealth or of physical beauty, but rather that they’re good things to have in a marriage if you can get them, so long as they are no the sole objects of desire, as that leads to avarice and lust. Unfortunately, Allworthy goes on far too long with his sermonizing, and leaves the Doctor feeling uncomfortable, and essentially ignoring Allworthy’s advice.