Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Woody Allen in the Digital Age: Still Miserable

You can now get audiobooks of Woody Allen's short stories, read by Allen himself. He seems to have enjoyed the project immensely (NY Times):
Q.What was the recording experience like for you? Did you make any new discoveries about these pieces in rereading them? Did it take you back to the frame of mind you were in when you first wrote them?

A.I imagined it would be quite easy for me and in fact, it turned out to be monstrously hard. I hated every second of it, regretted that I had agreed to it, and after reading one or two stories each day, found myself exhausted. The discovery I made was that any number of stories are really meant to work, and only work, in the mind’s ear and hearing them out loud diminishes their effectiveness. Some of course hold up amusingly but it’s no fun hearing a story that’s really meant to be read, which brings me to your next question and that is that there is no substitute for reading and there never will be. Hearing something aloud is its own experience but it’s hard to beat sitting in bed or in a comfortable chair turning the pages of a book, putting it down, and eagerly awaiting the chance to get back to it.
 I'd like to imagine the process being more like this.

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