This weekend I'm waist-deep in the listening of episode after episode of the podcast "CraftLit". We finished Pride & Prejudice around episode 21, which I was both a little saddened by, but also relieved. For one, I have listened to and read Pride & Prejudice many times, and by the time Lydia was running off with Wickham, I was bored, so I skipped to the last few chapters to be done with it. The other reason I was ready to be done with this particular LibriVox recording is that the reader didn't have the right voice for this book - it was nasal, higher pitched, and her American accent (perhaps from the East or South East US?) just sounded so strange reading Jane Austen. Oh, and don't get me started on how she pronounced several of the names and words, that if you, like me, have listened to in an English-read audio version of P&P, would know how they are supposed to be pronounced. Really off-putting.
So we were finally done with P&P. I was ready for another book, but to my surprise, Heather Ordover (who creates this podcast, and has a fabulous "radio" voice, perfect for podcasting, rather like our much-loved Brenda Dayne) pulled out some poems and short stories. She touched on the theme of irony, and how many stories and people (ahem, youth) today are missing that much-needed sense of irony. Deep irony, as Heather says. So of course Edgar Allen Poe and William Butler Yeats were brought in. There was also a reading of a short story by Ambrose Bierce’s “The Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge.” Unfortunately the man that read the story made such loud, whistled, almost shrill "s's" that after a minute of listening I had to forward to the end - it was that hard to hear!
Heather then brought out some short stories written by or about women ("ChickLit"), including Edna Ferber and Charlotte Perkins Gillman. Slightly odd, slightly depressing, but ahead-of-their-time, sorts of stories.
And then all of these fascinating but odd stories leads us into, during the time of recording, October 2006, when Heather wants to bring in the creepier stories. I think The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is up next, starting in episode #26, leading up to Hallowe'en. However, in the bright, warm June sun this weekend, it does strike me as unusual to be listening to dark stories for dark and dreary days. Good thing I have the right sense of humour that won't let me be daunted by this. :-)
p.s. Was there ever such an odd name as "Ichabod"?