Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Best Stories to Read Aloud

Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling reading stories on the veranda with cigars, bourbon and branch water.

Reading stories out loud is still an art practiced in Montauk in all seasons. Good storytelling is appreciated almost everywhere in town, and both the Symphony Space short story readings and The Moth on National Public Radio are blessings many listeners here share.

Montauktheend.blogspot.com is beginning a list of stories that are most wonderful when read out loud. We shall begin to populate it with two half-hour-to-read stories that will drop your listeners' jaws open with suspension of disbelief. You will remembers pieces of the third story for the rest of your life.

1) The Cat That Walked By Himself from the pen of the astonishing English poet Rudyard Kipling, a dear literary friend of America's marvelous Mark Twain. This story is one of a book of stories called "The Just So Stories." It is about how Woman domesticated the cat. It answers all of the questions you ever had about female power and how it is wielded. For clever minds of any age or gender. You can find the full text at http://www.online-literature.com/kipling/163/

2) The Butterfly That Stamped, also by Mr. Kipling. In this story, we learn how a clever and most beloved wife saves the day for her very wise husband, who hates to show off. You can download the text at http://www.online-literature.com/kipling/162/

3) Puddin’head Wilson’s New Calendar by Mr. Twain. Lawyer Wilson’s calendar carries beside each date a maxim to think about, like “Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.” Or, “Truth is stranger than Fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.” Or, “Man is the only Animal that blushes, or needs to.” Philosophers and drunks will love this story; all others steer clear. Download at http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/wilson/pwequat.html

We will add to the list with the help anyone who offers the name and the author of a story that is particularly fine to read out loud. You might kindly put the names of the story or stories and any helpful thoughts about it into the Comments box (below).

1 comment:

  1. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce

    can be heard here:


    Famously shown as a Twilight Zone episode. How life is dreamt as well as lived (and died).

    "Yma Dream" by Thomas Meehan. A nightmarishly funny dream.
    Can be heard here: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2004/07/09/segments/33020