January 11, 2013

2013 is kicking into gear! Time for a little sensuality and celebration and a little heartfelt consolation…

New Year’s Eve, by D.H. Lawrence…and Humiliation / A Young Wife (poetry mash-up), by D.H. Lawrence

Read by Xe Sands & Robin Sachs

Xe  writes…

The voice is *this* close to recordable…so one more week before we return to the excellent Little (flash) Fiction collection.

I originally recorded New Year’s Eve alongside Caswell’s rather downbeat The New Year, debating which to release. In the end, “reflection” won out over “celebration” and Caswell carried the Going Public New Year’s message.

But now the year has started…surely there is a place for sensuality and celebration in 2013? Two halves coming together as one, creating a whole. Yes, I think there is room for that in this new year. And, well, I have a weakness for Lawrence and need a little jumpstart to my year…

Lawrence wrote this poem as part of a cycle of love poems, compiled in Look! We Have Come Through! Here is his introduction of the collection:

“THESE poems should not be considered separately, as so many single pieces. They are intended as an essential story, or history, or confession, unfolding one from the other in organic development, the whole revealing the intrinsic experience of a man during the crisis of manhood, when he marries and comes into himself. The period covered is, roughly, the sixth lustre of a man’s life”

It is an exceptional collection of poems on the nature of living a life together, which of course is not always easy. Likewise, neither are the poems. The poetry mash-up, Humiliation & A Young Wife, recorded with Robin Sachs for Audiobook Week 2012, is composed of two additional poems from this collection, so I have offered them here in succession, in honor of Lawrence’s desire that the poems not be considered separately.

Jefferson Condolence Letter to Adams, 1818

Read by Diane Havens


Diane writes…

Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’ relationship went through phases from colleague, to bitter political rival, and finally to dear friend.

Consoling someone who has lost a loved one is always difficult. There are no words, and yet some must be found, especially when one is far away.

This brief but beautiful letter Jefferson wrote to Adams on hearing of the death of his wife Abigail says all that could possibly be said at a time such as this.

 

So Happy New Year, Everyone! May yours be filled with increased peace, prosperity of all sorts, health, love and yes, HUMOR!

Tom Jones – Book 3, Chapter 3, by Henry Fielding

Read by Mark Turetsky

Mark  writes…

Book 3 Chapter 3 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.

In this chapter, we get to meet Reverend Thwackum’s philosopher counterpart, Mr. Square. Once again, Fielding shows how he excels at naming his characters.

In this chapter, Square and Thwackum attempt to hash out one of the central questions of the Enlightenment: where does moral goodness come from, if not from religion? You can tell that these two characters are ready to debate this one at a hair trigger, since they were prompted to discuss this merely by Squire Allworthy’s refusal to have Tom Jones beaten again in interrogation. Of course, it’s the position of the reverend that man’s nature has been going downhill ever since the expulsion from Eden, and the philosopher believes that any divergence from moral goodness is inherently against mankind’s true spirit.

And yet, it seems like society as a whole hasn’t really made much progress beyond hashing out Square and Thwackum’s tired arguments over the last two or so centuries.

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