Friday, January 20, 2006

Do You Hear What I Hear? Audio Literature on the Web

I know I should be more up to speed on the incredible technology that surrounds us but still, I had a real "eureka" moment this morning when I discovered this page from Harper Collins and Internet Multicasting Service. It is a page listing the audio recordings which HarperAudio! has consented to be made available on the web for one's personal listening pleasure. (Remember it is a violation of United States and international copyright laws to copy these recordings for any other purpose.)

True, the list itself is a bit cheesy, rife with modern academia's "usual suspects" but there are still several worth listening to. Among the best? Dylan Thomas (photo at upper left) reciting "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"; a reading of an 1846 abolition speech by Frederick Douglass; T.S. Eliot reading his own "The Wasteland"; several Robert Frost selections read by the author himself (including one of my favorites, "The Road Not Taken"); actor Basil Rathbone reading Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven"; selections from Shakespeare's sonnets and plays read by such actors as Sir John Gielgud, Rex Harrison, Sir Ralph Richardson, and Anthony Quayle; J.R.R. Tolkien reading excerpts from his hobbit trilogy; and Peter Ustinov reading James Thurber (photo at right). Really terrific stuff!