Sunday, January 09, 2005

Listening to Stories and Their Endings

Arts and Letters Daily is one of my favorite sites, because I can always find a link to something interesting there.

Here's links to two articles I read today:

The first is a good article about endings in art. In the second article, an English professor confesses to a love of listening to recorded literature; this is less good than the first, but it struck me.

I've come to love audiobooks myself. It is not just that some readers/actors do such a wonderful job of making each character in a novel sound distinct. It is not just the convenience of being able to do something else while "reading" a book or that listening to an audiobook keeps one from getting bored while exercising or doing mundane tasks. It is not just that some literature cries out to be read aloud. It is all that and more. It is that listening to someone tell us a story--even a recorded voice telling us a written-down story--touches something primal in us. Humans are storytellers and also story-listeners, and some part of us remains forever hunkered down by the fire, listening to a really great story build toward a satisfying end.

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