November 6th, 2008


Writer's Block: Reading Aloud

One of the highlights of going to a literary festival is hearing authors read from their own works. What author, living or dead, would you most like to hear read?

I like this one. given that I've now heard Patti Smith read and sing her poetry many times, I guess I can move on from that obsession and think about whom else I'd like to hear.

I think that listening to Cormac McCarthy reading Blood Meridian could be very enlightening. he looked and talked like somebody's sweet grandpa on Oprah last year, I really wonder how this book unfolded in his head, and how the narration sounds to him. of course, the narration might not sound anything like him to him, but I'd still like to hear where the emphases lie and how one gets through the violent parts without their voice breaking.

otherwise, I'd like to have heard Samuel Beckett reading How It Is or Company. given he was Irish but wrote in French, I can't imagine my intonation matches his when I read them.

not that the author has the last say in how a work should be read. obviously not; reading is an eventful encounter between a reader and a text and writers know this. still, I'd like to hear how these books sounded in their authors' heads or at least how they would read them.