On Listening

by F.

Some recommended listenings:

1. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. A good reading by Alex Jennings (at least, that’s what the jacket copy says—though it doesn’t sound like him to my ears.) Listen to this when in an Apollonian mood and you need to be creative (Dionysian). Naxos now sells their audiobooks in MP3 directly from their website. The prices are reasonable.

2. Great Scientific Ideas that Changed the World. This set of lectures gets off to a slow start, but hang in there. By lecture three or four you’ll be captivated if you have any interested at all in science. A nice overview of the history of science (with the philosophy of science thrown in for free.)

3. Simon Callow reads The Sonnets. I have a couple other recordings of Shakespeare’s sonnets, including one by Gielgud. I prefer Callow. To my ear, he just nails the sense of each sonnet.

4. Nicol Williamson reads Blake. I like but don’t love Blake, other than maybe The Tyger. But Williamson’s crazy, exuberant reading fits perfectly with Blake’s poems.

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