Saturday, March 27, 2010
Today I downloaded from Librivox Dostoyevsky's, Notes from the Underground, a book I have tried to read on and off for 30 years (I had read The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment).
When I was younger a storm of words was in me that only words could feed, and so I read like a dervish, and yet this book, I could only read a few paragraphs. Even a few sentences of this book triggered so many thoughts that I found hours had gone by and I had not read to the end of the first page. Last year I tried again and drifted into a philosophical speculative mood that also made me aware of my own tattered and ragged weltanschauung edges.
But now, thanks to an audiobook where it is read to me, I can listen during long walks with my dog in the night. Tonight I listened to half the book. How can I express how I love Dostoyevsky's vision, humour, seriousness, learning and depth of feeling- his exceptional literary talent (even in translation) whereby he presents a psychological book of anguish, an interior rumination of a gauntlet through life?
I am so glad for the gift of this book, the way I have found to finally 'read' it.
Dostoyevsky created a narrator in this book who is unlike any other. I can only think of a handful of books that are entirely composed of a soliliquey that reaches deeply into the philosophical and emotional depth of a life (one that comes immediately to mind is Clarice Lispector's, The Stream of Life, though it is an entirely different book, being a poetical treatise of a dying woman who writes what she thinks, feels, remembers, imagines without any barriers, from her pure pumping open veins).
Anyway, today I downloaded Notes from the Underground from a newly discovered gem of a site, Librivox: acoustical liberation of books in the public domain, where volunteers read books whose copyright has expired. Only I found the (male) voice(s) a little too strident, too peppy for this dark and difficult work, so I spent hours enhancing each .mp3, which is how each chapter arrives, adding a slight reverb, an imperceptible echo, some extra bass (double on that), a tad of voice enhancement, making an audiobook of over two hours that is an easier listen, that doesn't interrupt the text in its speaking.
It was an amazing walk tonight, my dog and I and Dostoyevsky. During the quiet dark of Earth Night.
Who knows why I am taking these over-exposed flashlit computer photos at night... though this was after turning the lights back on!
I don't know how to turn off Photobooth's flash, I guess is it. But then without the flash the photo would have been shadowy in a pixelated way.