Archive for September, 2005

My archive.org entry probably says it all. I’m fascinated that Scott managed to combine Regency romance, Arthurian adventure, and medieval lais into one coherent storyline (and meta-storyline). It’s a pretty nifty little poem (‘little’ meaning ‘in three cantos and a bunch of prologues and epilogues’), IMHO, and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

You can read The Bridal of Triermain at the University of Rochester’s Camelot Project, a handy gatherum of all sorts of Arthurian materials.

Canto I
Canto II
Canto II (cont.)
Canto II Epilogue
Canto III Prologue
Canto III
Canto III (cont.)
1 hr. 50 min.

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Criticize Me!

At this time, I’d like to point out that I do want comments. Most of all, I want some comments on how I read. Am I going too fast or too slow? Is my pitch too high or too low? Can you actually hear me read, or should I crank up the recording volume?

How about the poetry? I have been going against my natural inclination to lean on the actual rhythm and rhyme scheme, and trying this newfangled style where you read a poem like it was prose. I’ve decided that I don’t really enjoy that much. If that was what the poet wanted, he wouldn’t have worked so hard to put in the sound tricks, ne? So after the next poem, you’ll be visited with my own natural style of reading poetry. If you actually like what I’ve been doing, now’s your only chance to stop me!

Funny voices and accents are another issue. Well, I’m not an actor, and I do have previous experience reading for kids. So, no, I don’t have any shame. Complain now or suffer more of the same!

I should probably also warn you that you will probably be forced to listen to occasional singing by me on this podcast, because if people quote a song they want you to sing it, right? (Just giving you warning in advance.)

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Today’s story, “The Blue Sequin”, comes to you thanks to Flos Carmeli’s E-Text Announcements.

I have always been very curious to read R. Austin Freeman and meet Dr. Thorndyke. Their names come up again and again among the pioneers of the genre, and Freeman was spoken of favorably by Dorothy L. Sayers. (If pressed, I would probably admit to being influenced by Sayers just a titch more than Lewis or Tolkien.) So I was very pleased to learn that Gutenberg had copies of his work.

I haven’t yet tackled the novels for which Freeman is known (most notably, The Red Thumb-Mark), but I’ve really enjoyed the stories in John Thorndyke’s Cases. Some of them have that definite air of a Holmes pastiche (particularly the beginnings of “The Man with the Nailed Shoes”, “The Stranger’s Latchkey”, and “The Anthropologist at Large”). But Thorndyke clearly isn’t Holmes. He strikes me as much more professorial than Holmes could ever be (except in disguise), and much more in love with technicalities and precision. But you could picture them being friendly colleagues.

Part 1
Part 2
38 minutes.

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Carmeli Launch!

Steven Riddle gave this site a very flattering notice over at Flos Carmeli.


Aw, shucks, ’tweren’t nothin’….

I should point out, however, that it was Mr. Riddle’s e-text announcement page which pointed me in the direction of some of the things I read as audiobooks this week. So you truly do reap what you sow, sir!

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Huge Fleepin’ Files

I realize that my mp3 files are rather large for something that’s just spoken word. The problem is that archive.org really likes 96Kbps, and doesn’t really want any file that’s less than 64Kbps in their Open Source Audio section.

However, I may have a solution. If you have an archive.org account, you pretty much automatically can get an ourmedia.org account. I can put smaller versions of the files up there, larger ones in the Open Source Audio section as my contribution to the public domain, and link to both for my listeners’ convenience. (However few they may be.)

I will update all my current posts when I start doing this. But don’t expect it Real Soon, as I have choir tonight.

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I’ve been promising spiritual audiobooks but not providing them. So here’s a medieval English mystical treatise for you — “Of the Song of Angels” by Master Walter Hilton, monk. I found it on CCEL as part of a republished Elizabethan collection of medieval religious treatises, called The Cell of Self-Knowledge.

As usual with treatises on mystical experiences (well, good ones, anyway), there is much to say about false mystical experiences: “inputting” from the Devil appears to be less common in Master Walter’s experience than overeager folks doing their best to turn their brains into mush or make their experiences into something bigger than they are. Sounds like he and Fr. Groeschel would deal well together. 🙂

“Of the Song of Angels”.
16 minutes.

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If you’ve never read “The Sword of Welleran”, I think you’re in for a treat. If you already have, you know what you’re in for. 🙂 Dunsany is beautiful and strange and original and even funny. Many great and many bad writers have copied him, but nobody can write like him, or in as many strange and original styles as he did.

Here’s the scoop. An undefended city. Citizens who have forgotten war. Enemies on the march. Seven dead heroes of old.

“We have loved many women, Merimna, but only one city.”

Here’s a very nice potted biography of Dunsany, which acknowledges the literary infighting and politics which led to the relative obscurity he enjoys today. You can also read his 1909 collection The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories at Gutenberg.

Download here.

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