It’s a week of nostalgia, reflection and remembrance…and of course, Tom Jones.
Read by Xe Sands
Recorded with permission of the author and publisher.
This week’s offering is a soft story. It reads like a fading photograph from the 70’s – one of those square ones that looks slightly out of focus and delicately yellowed. We read this story like we hold that photo: gently, with a bit of yearning toward a different time.
“Inheritance” comes from the wonderful Jessica Kluthe (check out her debut novel – Rosina the Midwife!) and Little Fiction. It’s a story of looking back…in time, in family, in memory, even when those memories aren’t entirely our own. And I am honored that they allowed me to voice it.
Gilbert and Sullivan Girls
Read by Diane Havens
An unhappy occasion I recently attended nevertheless brought back some happy memories. In my youth, I belonged to a repertory company, the Light Opera of Manhattan, and performed Gilbert and Sullivan in repertory. Many of the company members gathered last weekend to honor and celebrate the life of one of the principal actors who passed away. I know most of the plays by heart, both music and dialog. I have my favorite bits of dialog, three of which I have recorded here — the vain young Yum Yum from “The Mikado”, the dignified old Dame Hannah from “Ruddigore” and the slightly snobbish Josephine from “Pinafore.”
Thank you, Gary Pitts. Thank you, LOOM. Thank you, Mr. Gilbert and Mr. Sullivan.
Poems from Long Ago “Old Romney Church” and “Eastbridge,” by Peter Davey
Read by Sonia Vilim
Recorded with permission of the author.
Old Romney Church
beats, leafy shadows wave
upon a sunlit wall;
can all of human history be held
within one moment of a summer’s afternoon?
the clock’s beat
which bore our planet out of emptiness
will bear it back again – the clouds, the trees,
the birds chattering beyond the windowpane;
yet, growing older, time
is crossed and recrossed constantly with hints
of something else, imbued by every scent and texture
of this ancient place; experience
and new experience attained through art
are more real to me now
than time and space
and shadows of reality we move among
As the daylight fails,
as the ruined tower darkens
on the fading clouds,
as the blackbird, scolding,
swoops among the bushes,
in remembered voices and in silence
comes the moment of reconsecration
on this empty land
Image by Peter Davey
Tom Jones – Book 5, Chapter 7, by Henry Fielding
Read by Mark Turetsky
Book 5 Chapter 7 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 chapter deals with the imminent death of Mr. Allworthy. Yes, it seems that even the most, er, worthy of men will someday shuffle off their mortal coil. But of course, Fielding can’t have a serious and melancholic chapter without making fun of French accents.
Allworthy takes this moment on his deathbed to discuss his will with his friends, family, and servants. He’s leaving the bulk of his estate to his nephew, Blifil, with a generous amount of money set aside for Bridget, Tom, Thwackum, Square, and his servants. Of course, Tom’s sadness takes center stage, and, in a true playwright’s fashion, a messenger has come from afar bearing news, which we’ll find out about next week.