Having the guts to tackle so called ?high literature?

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
Post Reply
Stephan
Posts: 1607
Joined: December 18th, 2005, 9:38 am
Location: Leverkusen, Germany

Post by Stephan » December 24th, 2005, 7:32 pm

I am thinking about (for instance) Faust I...
Now LibriVox is in the buzz. Chances are german literature professor doctors drop by in a year, our chancelorette, G?nther Grass, Harald Schmidt or Christof Schlingensief. Spontaneous names that come to mind of people in germany?s massmedia claiming cultural wisdom)...or simply...german literate people. It?s literate people who would download it and then get dissappointed.

Problem:
Who am i? A children of the 90ties german educational misery. I haven?t read Zauberberg, nor Buddenbrooks, nor Werther. No Heine, no Fontane, no Kleist.
Who am i to read Faust - ALOUD!!

I am thinking the same about H.G.Wells War of the Worlds (Now Cringe! I am comparing Wells with Goethe. ROFL). I could read it fluently enough with some strange spellings here and there, you?d find cute. And that soothes my doubts. Wells is not my mother-tongue, i?d be pardoned. But not with Faust.

And this is how twisted you get, when you don?t think you have been fitted with the right cultural backing in school. Can i blame them? No. Had i been a better pupil, i?d dare to read Faust now.

Is that a solution?
Like: Hey! I?m offering a ?Faust Audiobook? to all those miserable students in germany who?s curiculum still contains faust. They?d be happy to have it read by one of their own, struggling, don?t they? Unfortunatly not: they?d think: "Cool! He sucks more than i do"...and go watch MTV.

Thinking out loud, hoping for a small chat about doubts...How very german!
Last edited by Stephan on December 24th, 2005, 8:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

thistlechick
Posts: 6246
Joined: November 30th, 2005, 12:14 pm
Location: Michigan

Post by thistlechick » December 24th, 2005, 7:54 pm

Stephan wrote: Who am i?
To be quite frank, you are no one... that's the beauty of it... we are real voices serving a real purpose. If it makes you feel better, think of it as giving the proverbial middle finger to the so called "literate people" ...

One does not require formal higher education to read, understand, appreciate, and present literature for the enjoyment of others.

There is room in this world for your interpretation of your favorite works of literature... so, take a chance ... =)
~ Betsie
Multiple projects lead to multiple successes!

Stephan
Posts: 1607
Joined: December 18th, 2005, 9:38 am
Location: Leverkusen, Germany

Post by Stephan » December 24th, 2005, 8:24 pm

Hm! I like that. Did you think about that before? You got it to the point so easily.
Whatever argument i come up with now in my mind is easily negated. Maybe my starting point was weak, plus, I can?t take sides for them eggheads.

These little two posts are not bad to have in this forum.
Good example of LibriVox?s thinking.

I am doing my Audiobook for NOONE, except, I am doing it for me...and for some people who will enjoy it. There WILL be people who enjoy it. Forget the rest.
Do i put that right?

Thats why the name "LibriVox" is so great too - this association to ?Vox Populi?. LibriVox has something plebeian about it.

thistlechick
Posts: 6246
Joined: November 30th, 2005, 12:14 pm
Location: Michigan

Post by thistlechick » December 24th, 2005, 8:51 pm

If that's what it takes to get you recording.... =P

You'll find that there are as many different points-of-view at Librivox as there are members. Each person has their own personal reasons for being involved in this project... as long as we all have the same goal in mind (recording books in the public domain and making them available to the public via the Internet), and maintain respect for our differences, we'll all reach our goal together.

Now, get out there and read! =)
Last edited by thistlechick on December 24th, 2005, 8:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
~ Betsie
Multiple projects lead to multiple successes!

hugh
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 8039
Joined: September 26th, 2005, 4:14 am
Location: Montreal, QC
Contact:

Post by hugh » December 24th, 2005, 8:53 pm

you are doing it for all of humanity! my dream is to have:
-divine comedy
-don quioxte
-faust
-cantebury tales
-illiad

all done in modern english and originals!

and stephan, if you don't do it, who will? oh and have a read of the "what if i suck?" thread too, esp gord's answer - you're not the first to worry about this!
http://librivox.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=37

Stephan
Posts: 1607
Joined: December 18th, 2005, 9:38 am
Location: Leverkusen, Germany

Post by Stephan » December 24th, 2005, 9:09 pm

Thank you all. Very soothing. Gord...you rock!
I?d dare to participate in Faust now.

LibraryLady
Posts: 3148
Joined: November 29th, 2005, 5:10 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Post by LibraryLady » December 24th, 2005, 10:24 pm

Go for it Stephan. If you want to get into the issue of who is worthy to read high literature, the answer really is nobody, and because of that, everybody. Who else could read Faust *perfectly* except Goethe? Well, no one can read it in the way that Goethe undoubtedly could have. But you know what else? No one can read it in the way that *you* undoubtedly can read it.

We're all aspiring to something we'll never have, the author's complete understanding of the work. We all have different versions of understanding, different life experiences to bring to a work, different emotions to pour into it, and different aspects to grab onto and accentuate. This is what makes every single reading important by every single person. No one else can read it like you can. You may read one sentence in a certain way that makes the meaning click in one person's head in a way it never did before. Suddenly that person understands a whole new aspect, because of your reading.

Another thing is, you should never worry about trying to live up to some standard. I'm psyching myself up to read T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land." I've listened to the recording of Eliot reading it himself several times but I realized it wasn't good for me and I deleted my bookmark and am giving myself time to distance from that before I record. Why? I can't read it like Eliot can. NO ONE can read it like Eliot can. And it would be ridiculous if I *tried* to read it like Eliot did. All I can do is read it like Annie, with my life, my experiences, my emotions, my voice.

So the lesson of my little rant or pep talk or whatever you want to call it ... be yourself, let your readings reflect your channeling of the work through your life, experiences, emotions, and voice, and never, ever, EVER think you are not good enough to record anything that inspires you.
Annie Coleman Rothenberg
http://www.anniecoleman.com/

"I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice." ~Whitman

Peter Why
Posts: 4204
Joined: November 24th, 2005, 3:54 am
Location: Chigwell (North-East London, U.K.)

Post by Peter Why » December 25th, 2005, 2:39 am

Think of theatre: the playwright puts down words, situations, even sometimes what his characters are thinking, but each performance comes through the personalities of the acting company, and is coloured by them. Go to it.

I've been reading through Pygmalion, wondering whether it would be possible as a solo. It's quite hard to avoid hearing My Fair Lady, but it's just got to be how *I* hear the parts.

Izze
Posts: 49
Joined: December 12th, 2005, 11:39 pm

Post by Izze » December 25th, 2005, 2:55 am

Stephan's right, so called 'high literature' is daunting just because it is that: so called.

While I'll admit that, even as an English major, I won't sit down and read Don Quioxte -I abhore the book- ,but books that I grew familiar too without such stigmata I'll enjoy readily -Moby Dick is a great example of this for me, oddly enough-.

That's also why I'm doing Kim: I've never read it before, I'm named after the book, and it's going to be required on an exam in may. But it's also a lot easier to do if I'm doing it for a reason other than my grade -I'm such a bad college student ^.^; -.


Two more cents: I liked Goethe. Erlkonig (sorry about no umlauts, it's 2am and I don't want to bother looking through my character map) was a favorite of mine. At this point I'm not sure to boo or yay my German classes for making me learn how to read and understand Goethe. ^.^;

Gesine
Posts: 14185
Joined: December 13th, 2005, 4:16 am

Post by Gesine » December 25th, 2005, 3:56 am

Hey Stephan - I'd recommend doing Goethe, if only for your own sanity... you talk of doubts. Now if you don't do it, you'll always ask yourself if you could have done it...

Besides, you'll learn such a lot... I never understood Shakespeare, Schiller or others as well as I did when I had to act them out in one of the theatre groups. One looks at the text so closely, one catches all the little nuances. This can also be achieved by studying it in-depth, but I find that only through reading it myself did I really understand it. Some things one has to experience to make sense of them - and reading out loud, thinking about what the character/narrator means, certainly brings a unique kind of experience.

And what if your reading really is awful? There will always be someone who likes it. Your mother will love it. We will love it. And if some of the German literati comment on it - hey, what great publicity for LibriVox!! Then we can say: try and make a better version if you found it so terrible. (*edit: OK, that was unfair - people have a right to criticise even if they cannot or don't want to improve on the subject they criticise)

Anyway, I've heard your first recording. I think you read very well, and you'll get even better. It won't matter what you read, you will always read well - though Goethe, no doubt, will require a bit more thought and preparation than Karl May.

So. I hope you will do it. Everyone here hopes you will do it. Faust, or anything else. Keep at it! :)

P.S. Werther, Fontane, Zauberberg etc? Actually very good books. There is a reason why they're supposed to be 'high literature' - they are meaningful, and can move, on so many different levels. And never mind dismal '90s education - it's up to you to make up for it... There is so much I haven't yet read. The reason I sign up for readings is usually because a) I know and love the book or b) I've never read it but always thought I'd like to, one day... and I'm actually finding that I'm enjoying reading these almost more than the others.
[size=92] "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein[/size]

hugh
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 8039
Joined: September 26th, 2005, 4:14 am
Location: Montreal, QC
Contact:

Post by hugh » December 25th, 2005, 8:38 am

just a quick note on "authoratative" readings: there's no such thing. listen to the weekly poetry section - to all the different versions of the same poem and you realize the power of the written word: different voices magically transform a poem from one thing to another, yet always it stays the same. a paradox that embodies librivox!

also read this:
http://www.futureofthebook.org/blog/archives/2005/12/librivox_free_p_1.html

Post Reply