Oh, aren’t we lucky!? A double-bluffed, double-dipped, double-headed dose of Isaac Babel. When you’ve had a listen here and discover that you’re still running low on your recommended daily serving of Babel, you might head here to find a new recording of an old reading of another one.
There was a time when I was little (and I was so cute, and so little!) when I wanted to be Jane Bowles. I was obsessed with the puppet show, unhealthily so, though thinking back now, I can’t think of any self-respecting adult who’d have introduced such a cute little thing to it.
It’s probably one of the better things in life — right up there with creative breakthroughs and lasting love and the slurp of streetside oysters — to have one’s hat tipped to new and great authors. In my case, it doesn’t happen often, because I’m finicky and discriminating with my own tastes, or as others have said, snotty. Some of my closest friends, in fact, have sworn never again to share enthusiasm of their own discoveries, for fear of my response. I’m not proud of this….
Can I tell you something about my speculative fiction habits? Of course I can– this my barroom restroom wall and the red marker’s in my slimy mitt.
Here’s the thing: I just love stories about sentient animals. I can’t get enough of talking dogs or super-intelligent rats or telekinetic polar bears– this is the stuff of unconditional love.
I’m so excited about Bloomsday that I’m sharing the love a day early this year. In fact, I was so excited that I almost went ahead and read all the stories from Dubliners that I haven’t yet done for you, but then it hit me that I’d have to move forward next year with my plan to do Ulysses in its entirety. And, well, I don’t know if I have the pipes for that yet. And I don’t know if you have the perseverance to listen to me indulge the Joyce itch.
Twice now I’ve sat down to read something from Isak Dinesen’s Winter’s Tales
, and twice when pawing through for a good story, I’ve ended up spending hours re-reading the stories in here, to the point of distracted negligence, but to the point of great self-satisfaction nevertheless.
One day I’ll just relent and read them all to you, but that’d be a big project, and if you’re anything like me, you’re already running on the fumes of big projects. …
Where I am, dear listeners, it’s hot. And for reasons which terrify some, confound others, and lead to the sort of mass collective eye-rolling that I’d rather avoid (because the energy produced therein would raise the outside temperature another half-degree), I’m not the sort to articondition the air. Which means: it’s hot, here, big vats of frying oil hot, and there’s no reprieve inside these walls.
A delivery truck pulled out in front of me the other day, freshly deflowered by a graffiti artist who chose to express him- or herself by relaying the following, in big blue caps:
I LOVE SARAH, KINDA?
Dearest listeners of the internet, I know. I’ve been gone. Many of you have pointed this out to me, though by the time I returned to read your pleas and queries, I was back, relieved of goneness, and racked with guilt over how abandoned you’d all been left, was at a loss at what I might read to redeem myself.