Archive for December, 2005

I’m finally starting up again on The Imitation of Christ.

Part 15
Part 16
Part 17
Part 18

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The second third of Lord Dunsany’s Fifty-One Tales.


“The Latest Thing”
“The Demagogue and the Demi-Monde”
“The Giant Poppy”

“The Man with Golden Ear-rings”
“The Dream of King Karna-Vootra”

“The Storm”
“A Mistaken Identity”
“The True History of the Hare and the Tortoise”

“Alone the Immortals”
“A Moral Little Tale”
“The Return of Song”

“Spring in Town”
“How the Enemy Came to Thlunrana”
“A Losing Game”

“Taking Up Piccadilly”
“After the Fire”


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That’s right, folks! A whole three weeks’ worth of nothing but short-shorts by Lord Dunsany! I’m reading all Fifty-One Tales in the book. Death! Time! Poetry! Fame! Small gods! More bizarre ideas than you can shake a pen at!

The regular schedule of blogging will resume in seventeen days. Just hold yourself to three tales a day, and you’ll get through.

The first week:

“The Assignation”
“The Death of Pan”

“The Sphinx of Gizeh”
“The Hen”
“Wind and Fog”

“The Raft-Builders”
“The Workman”
“The Guest”

“Death and Odysseus”
“Death and the Orange”
“The Prayer of the Flowers”

“Time and the Tradesman”
“The Little City”
“The Unpasturable Fields”

“The Worm and the Angel”
“The Songless Country”

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Remember that you can visit some of my other audiobook podcast links.

I’ve just started listening to Tom Corven, an audiobook about a boy who finds himself alone and amnesiac in a strange world, with an uncanny power within him. It was inspired by the wild landscape of Arran, and the author reading it has a great accent! So I think you’ll enjoy it.

BBC 7 as always has some awesome books and book dramatizations to listen to, right now including C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra and some Lord Peter Wimsey detection. But I’m excited about Whisky Galore, the saga of a fictional Scottish island faced with a real WWII problem. What to do when whisky is sternly rationed, but a whole boatload going to America gets shipwrecked on your barren isle? I mean, it’d be a sin to let it all go to waste, as even the priest and the preacher agree….

(The book (and the awesomely fun movie, shot on location!) also features a sweet subplot about how an English soldier sets about marrying his island sweetheart, complete with advice from the local bard. It’s by Compton Mackenzie, the same gifted and hilarious Scottish writer who came up with Monarch of the Glen, and so there’s a bit of a crossover in it. Highly recommended, if you can get ahold of a copy.)

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Three Edwardian wise men are called to the wilds of Cornwall at Christmas.

“A Christmas Mystery: The Story of Three Wise Men”
34 min.

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An interesting homily on what the angel said to St. Joseph. I’m not golden-tongued like the sainted bishop/patriarch of Constantinople, but give it a listen!

Homily 5
33 min.

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Part 4: The Felling of the Tree

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Part 3: The Shadow of the Thunder-Oak

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Part 2: The Trail Through the Forest

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In this story set in medieval Germany, we meet St. Boniface evangelizing the wilds of Germany. And yes, you'll see the first Christmas tree. Another fine Christmas story from the author of "The Story of the Other Wise Man". Enjoy!

Part 1: The Call of the Woodsman

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Blog Announcement

Archive.org is taking its own sweet time again. (Hey, it’s a volunteer organization and it’s almost Christmas. No big huhu.)

When they process the next couple of podcasts, I’ll put ’em up.

You can look forward to a Christmas adventure by the author of “The Story of the Other Wise Man”, “A Christmas Mystery” in the wilds of Cornwall, and a sermon from St. John Chrysostom. And more of The Imitation of Christ, which I need to catch up on. Also more Surtees, if I can fit it in; I’m moving Mr. Sponge to Fridays.

Sorry for all the light blogging. I’m in two choirs, and I was not only tired but desperate to save my voice. But hopefully things will settle down a bit. I will be away after the holidays for a while, but I’m going to try to leave folks some kind of backlog to fill the time. (These will probably be much shorter pieces, of course.)

After that, I plan to start in again on Dr. Thorndyke with The Eye of Osiris. I feel much in need of Egyptology and cunning criminals.

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I actually managed to get a little podcasting done! So here’s another New Year’s story from Fitz-James O’Brien, because back in his day in New York, Santa and Kriss Kringle came at New Year’s. (Apparently back in his day, midnight was quiet except for bells, too.)

This one is about two street children who are still awake at midnight, waiting for Kriss Kringle to come. Yes, this is O’Brien. Yes, it’s gonna be sad. Hankie alert!

Please note that archive.org’s audio pages have changed. The only streaming link is over to the left side, and so are all the file-playing ones. You can still access individual soundfiles by going to the “individual files” or “http” links on the page. This will produce a pop-up window. I am going to keep providing links from here, which should also still work. (They’ve also changed their editor for file information, so I may actually be able to fix some problems that have been bugging me.)

“Three of a Trade”
15 min.

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Blog Announcement

I still don’t feel up to snuff, so no more audiobooks for the rest of the week. Sorry, folks.

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The Proto-Evangelium of James is almost certainly not by James or entirely factual. The early Church mostly didn’t think it was inspired, either. (All of which are excellent reasons why you won’t find it in your Bible.)

However, this second century tale has survived in over 130 mss. That’s popularity. It’s an interesting blend of Bible fanfic and oral tradition. The Church has traditionally accepted it as containing a few grains of truth, such as the names of Mary’s parents. Just don’t take it too seriously.

Caveats: At times, the translation is jumbled because the manuscripts are pretty jumbled, too. Also, there’s a tiny bit of Part 2 that’s not work-safe. When the story mentions Salome, you’re almost there.

(Btw, you’ll notice that the author of this piece took the Eastern view that James the Less was Joseph’s son by a previous marriage, not the Western view that James was Jesus’ cousin. However, since Joseph and Mary were apparently cousins, and Aramaic uses the word “brother” for every sort of cousin there is, both interpretations could in fact be true. Ah, the joys of Middle Eastern tribal life, in which marrying some cousin is almost unavoidable, if you marry inside your tribe.)

UPDATE: If you’ve just been reading Time magazine’s cover story about Joseph, and you’re looking for The Protevangelium of James… well, The Protevangelium of James is a typo. “Proto-Evangelium” is the search term you want.

Part 1 (from Mary’s conception and birth to Mary’s pregnancy)
Part 2 (Jesus’ nativity to the flight to Egypt)
34 min.

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Mr. Sponge’s epic continues, and we learn more about Mr. Sponge’s determined and bespectacled foe, Lord Scamperdale, and his disgruntled sidekick and almost-twin, Jack Spraggon.

‘Love me, love my dog,’ being a favourite saying of his lordship’s, he fed himself, his friends, and his hounds, on the same meal. Jack and he were busy with two great basins full of porridge, which his lordship diluted with milk, while Jack stirred his up with hot dripping… His lordship did not eat his porridge with his usual appetite, for he had had a disturbed night, Sponge having appeared to him in his dreams in all sorts of forms and predicaments; now jumping a-top of him -— now upsetting Jack —- now riding over Frostyface -— now crashing among his hounds; and he awoke, fully determined to get rid of him by fair means or foul.

Chapter 25: Jack Spraggon’s Embassy to Jawleyford Court
Chapter 25 continued
Chapter 26: Mr and Mrs Springwheat
Chapter 27: The Most Famous Run That Ever Was Seen
1 hr 50 min

Sudden Appearance of Mr. Sponge at Farmer Springwheat's -- Horror of Lord Scamperdale

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

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