This week, a bit of seasonal celebration with Oscar Wilde, a bit of discomfort and reality with “Lucky,” and the ongoing saga of Tom Jones.
Ave Maria Gratia Plena, by Oscar Wilde
Read by Diane Havens
Oscar Wilde is so much more than a wit, a playwright and the man who created Dorian Gray. He was a complex man with deep philosophical and socio-political ideas, and I find him and his work endlessly fascinating. His poetry is filled with myth and religious imagery, as are his “fairy tales” which were written for adults, not children.
This poem, a meditation of sorts, examines the preconceptions about what the birth of a son of God should have been like.
Read by Xe Sands
[WARNING: Brief scene of violence; profanity]
Heading into the home stretch of the Little (flash) Fiction collection, with the first of the final three – a little snippet of life on the streets, from Will Johnson.
Will Johnson’s work is raw. It’s not pretty, it’s not kind. It doesn’t invite you in for tea and cookies and make you feel better. It also doesn’t invite you in for tea and then roofie and roll you for cash, like some stories do.
No. It’s honest from the start, and somewhat stark at times. It’s real. It’s often painful, uncomfortable, full of all-the-things-we-wish-didn’t-happen-but-do. This isn’t lyrical “messy” fiction. This is like watching life unfold in the crappy apartment building across the street, or in your childhood home (depending on your childhood). Reminds me of Trainspotting or Saving Angelfish. Well-written, hard. Life.
Real stories. Real people. Living life in real-time. OK, fictional…but might as well not be.
Tom Jones – Book 2, Chapter 9, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
Book 2 Chapter 9 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.
This final chapter of Book 2! Here we have the varying reactions of Bridget and Mr. Allworthy to the death of Captain Blifil. As was explained in the previous chapter, Captain Blifil’s sudden death made Bridget forget instantaneously the fact that she hated him with a deep passion, as attested to by her epitaph for him (which epitaph describes a person wholly unlike the departed).
We also get a nice look at 18th Century medicine in the form of Doctors Y and Z. Instead of trying to revive the Captain, they take to arguing over the cause of death.
Alas, still no real plot movement on the Tom Jones front, but that will soon be remedied in Book Three!
Happy Winter Solstice and Saturnalia!