A scrapbook of whatever I'm making, collecting, or just obsessing about
at the moment.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Few Words from Irving and Poe

On Saturday I spent much of the day in my sewing room, going through quilting magazines and tearing out the patterns to be kept. These will go into file folders in a file cabinet, leaving me more room on the bookshelves and in the closet, where there are many, many magazines taking up space.

But that task doesn't require my whole attention: listening to recorded books improves the hours. I've listened to two, so far: The Washington Irving Library (on cassette) though old, is worth mentioning because of the pleasure of hearing his work read by Elliot Gould, Efram Zimblist, Jr, Jamie Farr, and Susan Anspach.

I didn't care for Rural Life in England very much because it was so generalized, nothing was ever described in particular. But the short fiction was very good; I like the folktale effect he does so well. I had already read Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow before, but not the Spectral Bridegroom or the other pieces.

Fortunately (?) there is still lots more work to be done on the sewing room, giving me hours and hours of opportunity to listen to classics. Next up was Edgar Allan Poe's C. Auguste Dupin stories. The first of these, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, is considered to be the first true detective story and Dupin, with his method of "ratiocination," the precursor of Sherlock Holmes. If I had not known this was so, I'd be ready to take Rue Morgue as  satirical. There is a certain element about it that would seem to be poking fun at the genre.

I'm partway through The Mytsery of Marie Roget and still have The Purloined Letter to look forward to. Without these recorded books to entice me, I doubt if I'd pursue my cleaning chores with such assiduity.

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