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Saroyan, William

The Shepherd’s Daughter

Perhaps you might use Miette’s short sabbatical to catch up on some of the classics that you might have missed the first time around.

Or, maybe this will hold you over? You’ll hear from me soon…

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Mérimée, Prosper

The Pearl of Toledo

True to form here’s a nice short one to balance out the more time-demanding Gogol from last time. And let me add that just because it’s short doesn’t mean it’s not gruesome, contentious, vitriolic, or even a little caustic, because when lagged by the potentate of a jet, that’s all you want waiting for you at home: a short and snarling gallic fable- how’s that for a cold water splash to the face? Here you go!

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Gogol, Nikolai

The Diary of a Madman

Ahh, so you’ve noticed that I still hadn’t read any Gogol, despite a-hundred-some readings including enough of a Russian contingency to keep a stronghold on the world weight-lifting championships for the next few centuries, and despite a story by an Italian all about Gogol, in its own peculiar way.

The truth is, I haven’t yet read Gogol for only one reason, though it’s a valid one: I fear if I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop. Gogol is that close to the cuffs. And much as I love him, this is not Gogol’s Bedtime Story Podcast. It’s Miette’s. And she’s evidently a little protective.

But you’re right. Gogol should be here, so here it will be. And it’s long, long enough that my throat hurts, long in the hope that thirst for Gogolic podcasting might be quenchable. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough. After all, I’m the King of Spain.

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Frame, Janet

Prizes

I’m going to keep this one short, because you really ought to be phoning your mothers right about now. And tidying your rooms. And standing up straight. And not talking with your mouths full. And not wasting your money on chewing gum and nosejobs. And not making that face, unless you want it to get stuck that way. So go and give her a ring, unless your face is stuck that way and your mouth is full, in which case, send her an ostentatious blinky e-card and call it a day.

But! There will be NO phoning your mother until you’ve cleaned your plate and listened to this:

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Categories
Hecht, Ben

The Lost Soul

Do you know about Ben Hecht? I only ask because a lot of people don’t, and because as a responsible Purveyor of Fine Information I ought to clue you in, and in the interest of living up to such, I should tell you that Ben Hecht was best known to many as a screenwriter, that the same mind is to be held accountable (in some ways) for Hitchcock’s Notorious, His Girl Friday, Gone with the Wind, and Scarface, although largely in an uncredited stop-the-presses-who-can-fix-this capacity.

[And yes, I’m aware that that’s one mighty long sentence, but it was a mighty long thought. Stay with me.]

I mention this only because it’s remarkable to me that someone could be brought on as the FIXER and produce what he did. It’s like building a rocket out of spiral ring binder scraps and spit, and not just ending up with a functional rocket, but a time-warping, human-transporting, beam-me-to-the-sunning Rocket of Tomorrow. And I don’t wax with simile very often, so when I do, you know it’s one that gets me excited. So I was mightily pleased to stumble on tonight’s story.

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Moravia, Alberto

Jewellery

Maybe I’m obsessing a little over the idea of tissue cultures, but I can’t help it – it’s my personality. But tissue culture and bedtime stories, of course! It takes me back to when I first discovered I could put the -expensive- mustard on my tofupups: prior to the discovery, it seems inconceivable, then suddenly nothing short of self-evident. And I’m being serious– how great that tissues are being cultured while being… cultured (I know. Please somebody, send me the Idiot’s Guide to Self-Restraint).

Is it like playing Mozart (or is it Brahms) to your unborn child? And do we know if tissues that are cultured while listening to literature podcasts turn out to be overachieving supertissues in much the same way? Have I revealed a consummate ignorance on tissue cultures yet, or mentioned that this is about the coolest thing I’ve heard of someone doing while listening to a podcast? And that the enthusiasm is sincere (though admittedly, maybe in part due to that ignorance I keep going on about?) Anyhow.

[*eh, you might be completely confounded over the nature of this little manic rave– see these comments or just listen:

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