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Molnar, Ferenc

The Silver Hilt

Okay, okay, you all keep asking for me to read writers you know, and I keep dipping into the well of obscurity to pick up writers you’ve never heard of. I know! I’ll read the writers you know, maybe, but you have to tell me which ones you want to hear. And until you do, I’m just going to continue to flip over rocks and turn up amazing archeoliterary pearls like this. Do you know this story? Probably not. Should you listen anyway? Yes, if you want your socks knocked right off your feet.

Come to think of it, getting one’s socks knocked off is one of those idioms that doesn’t sound like much fun, especially if your feet aren’t just washed. Or if it’s cold where you are. If you wish to throw your arms around your nerdish side, here’s the most convincing enumeration I’ve found for the origin of the phrase. Or, if you just want to sit back and stick your feet up and see what it’s like to have your socks knocked off, listen on.

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Categories
Borchert, Wolfgang

Do Stay, Giraffe

Okay, adventure seekers, listen up! For reasons that need not be enumerated here, I should warn you that tonight’s story was recorded in a hushed whisper, late at night, and I didn’t dare play it back to sample the condign commission of my own bedtime story. In other words, it was read quietly and is being posted blindly.

I want you to know, in short, that what you are about to hear I have not heard. Which means that you (and I mean every last one of you) are basically the first person to hear this. Unless you’re here because someone’s told you to come here to listen to Wolfgang Borchert. And if you’ve got friends giving you tips like that, well wow, hold tight to them, or introduce them to me. And if you’re my friend reading this, I didn’t mean that: I would never swap you for some stranger just because that person knows Borchert. Honest.

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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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Weidman, Jerome

Slipping Beauty

I know that I should be wishing some of you happy Passover, others happy Easter, others the goodliest of Fridays. But more importantly, more important than sweet Haroseth and pastel eggs and chocolate covered matzoh shaped as salty rabbits, let us not forget today’s holiday, the one hundredth anniversary of Samuel Beckett’s birth, which is deserving of thrice-leavened gilded eggshells. The obvious question: “why I’m not podcasting Beckett today, if it’s so damned important to you?”

The equally obvious answer: well, I’d rather not get sued during holy week. Not for this, anyhow. And besides, this allows me to thrust two writers on you at once, and chances are you know who Beckett is, but could use a little familiarity with Weidman, whose first name is a Saint and last is suitably Jewish to satisfy all of our celebratory needs for the coming days. So: listen to Weidman now, then go read Beckett.

Trivia for you: when Beckett was born, a hundred years ago today, it was Good Friday and Friday the Thirteenth.

And sincerely, to those in celebratory ways, my wishes for happiest of Passover, Easter, Beckett’s Birthday, etc.

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Collier, John

The Chaser

I have to tell you about a brilliant little moment that happened today. I was on a train, at an hour in which far too many people take the train, leaving us all sardinically resentful of one another’s smells, oversized totebags, and inter-seasonal viruses. This was, or would have been, evidenced by an isolated high-pitched sneeze from the far end of the car, -except- that from the far side of the other end, someone yelled out a brazen “bless you!” And maybe because it was Friday, or maybe because everyone on the train was under the influence of psychoactive substances, or maybe simply because they (we) were just tired of sardinic resentment, but a ripple effect of “bless you!” made its way from one end of the train to the other– maybe, not kidding, fifty times, before a “thank you” was laughed out from the other end.

I relay this to you now not for sentimental chicken-soup-for-the-mass-transit-soul reasons, but because, immediately after my heart was warmed by a rare and fleeting moment of solidarity among strangers, I thought “damn, if only I could have podcasted that.”

And I didn’t (podcast that). But John Collier might be the next best thing.

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Categories
Lagerkvist, Per

Saviour John

Nothing says Eve of The Second Coming of Christ like a longish existential short story by a forgotten Swedish Nobel winner (repeat: not nepotism) about a delusional old urchin who lives and preaches as the saviour of man.

I don’t know where you can find this in print– Jesus knows, I’ll bet. I have it in a tattered dimestore paperback anthology called The Existential Mind, Documents and Fictions, which has no ISBN so far as I can see, though the fact of its existence as a dimestore paperback fills makes me long to have lived yesterday. No matter, I’m sure you can find it somewhere if you want. Or just listen, allthewhile Praising the Lord for PodCASTs.

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