onsdag 24. april 2013

Listen up!

I love audiobooks. They keep me going when I am out running or walking, and, because I don't like to read while lying down, I listen to them in bed at night before falling to sleep. In the last few days, however, I have been walking around with earplugs all the time. I am listening to the correspondence between J. M. Coetzee and Paul Auster. In 2008 Coetzee suggested that the two of them begin exchanging letters on a regular basis. Here and Now is the result of that proposal. Over three years their letters touched on almost every subject, from friendship to sports, from food to death, philosophy to poetry, from film festivals to family life, travels, memory, the meaning of names, and the financial crisis. Though some comments on political and economic matters are less than profound, the book has the feel of a casual table conversation between two intellectuals. What keeps me listening, though, is not the brilliance of the minds -- "though that feature is generously on offer as well," to quote one reviewer -- "but the warmth, unpretentiousness, and honesty that emerges from these pages". Such qualities may be of interest primarily to fans. It is always nice to discover your favourite author to be a likeable person too. If you have no relationship to either of the writers, I am not sure this publication is meant for you.

What a great idea, I thought, upon discovering the audiobook edition, and learning that the letters would be read by the authors themselves. What better way to deliver personal reflections than in your own voice! And I am happy to report that the qualities of their thinking are reflected in the tone of their voices too.

2 kommentarer:

  1. Thanks for the recommendation. I've been meaning to buy this, but hadn't considered getting it as an audiobook. If they are reading their own letters then that might be the best format to get.

    1. You're welcome. I'm certainly enjoying this audiobook, as I'm sure I would the printed version too. However, a printed text doesn't offer the authors' own voices (which was the main attraction in this case), and it is, of course, quite impossible to read a book while running.