Sandy: I’m over-the-moon to see the VN additions on, to which club I’ve long been a happy subscriber. I must have at least 80 audiobooks in my iTunes libraries (Mac, iPod, iPad), including 10 rare hours of Richard Feynman’s CalTech lectures recorded live in the 60s and neatly digitized  (the Bronx sound of NOOTON’s Laws is a counter-example to those who associate ‘lowly’ accents with ignorance.)

By paying a modest optional fee, I get two ‘free’ downloads each month. 26 hours of Ulysses (with all the right accents) for a snip — highly recommended. I’m now waiting impatiently for 13th December when I can grab my ‘pre-paid’ pair ... but, which two to pick first from the new VN cornucopia? I’ll resist the natural temptation to go for the most expensive (which maximizes the value of the fixed-price deal). They are all ‘unabridged’ (much relief!), which is a prime criterion. Audible lets you play a sample before purchase This is vital since the choice of narrator can mar or enhance the greatest of texts.

The only VN work available on until recently was Lolita, brilliantly read by Jeremy Irons (matching his film role as HH, with plaudits on the VN-list from DN).

Here came a tiny rub: I already had this audio Lolita on cassette. Had I owned the CD set, transfer to iTunes would have been trivial but tiresome*. I have the gadgets and software to copy from cassette-to-disk, but it’s quite a chore. So foutre la dépense, Marie (give the cat another goldfish), I bought the simple download.

All of which, incidentally, adds a fresh nuance to the Nabokovian ‘re-read’ mandate. Nothing can replace my cosseted printed VN books, which I read and re-read to myself (with perfect intonation, of course), fascinated by texture of words and feel of paper. With VN also available in audio and film, we can now supplement our instruction re-listening and re-viewing (not to be confused with reviewing?)

Corresponding to printed ‘typos,’ we have what I’ve dubbed (in Unix Review) misspoken ‘soundos.’ (These are especially annoying in recorded mathematical and scientific texts: we hear Polkinghorne’s narrator speaking of a-particles (the page has alpha-particles) and the Greek letter nu (for frequency) comes out as ‘vee.’ Einstein’s coordinate, x-prime, is pronounced ‘x to the one.’)

After’s Lolita came their Enchanter (historical reversal!), which for diverse reasons, including the choice of narrator, I declined, or rather postponed. For my next downloads, I’m inclined to Invitation to a Beheading and the generous collection of

* Many older audio CDs lack proper transferable title/author/genre/track-chapter-tags. These have to be edited manually before matching the iTunes searching methods and sorting sequences. You can find ‘Track 10’ sorting lexicographically before ‘Track 2’, adding an unwanted random modernism to 19th century novels. I once heard Darcy marrying Elizabeth before they had been introduced. Discuss: which of VN’s works would survive similar stochastic shufflings, beyond, of course, those performed by VN on his pack of cards.

Stan Kelly-Bootle. Oswestry, Salopia, UK

On 04/12/2010 17:24, "sandy klein" <spklein52@GMAIL.COM> wrote:



Nabokov on audiobook
Having run through most of what our local library had available in audiobooks, I took the plunge and joined <> . So now I'm like a kid in the candystore...I want this. And this. And all of that. Like Earl in the movie Diner, I feel like ordering the entire left side of the menu.

I noticed earlier this week that several additional works by Vladimir Nabokov have been added just in the past month: The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited, Invitation to a Beheading, Bend Sinister, and Mary. I wanted to pass this on to those that enjoy audiobooks--some of these are available outside of <>  while others will be released later this month.
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