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Recently, NPR interviewed Richard Fairman, the archivist who produced this collection. Listen to the audio to hear the voices of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, F. Scott Fitzgerald (reading from Othello), Virginia Woolf, and Vladimir Nabokov.
Unfortunately, the online clip omits Nabokov's delightful closing quote (which I heard in the initial broadcast). So, I dug it out from the transcript:
Vladimir Nabokov describing the writing process:
“Proofreading: Unpacking the radiant, beautiful, plump advance copy; opening it and discovering a stupid oversight committed by me, allowed by me to survive. After a month or so I get used to the book's final stage, to its having been weaned from my brain. I now regard it with a kind of amused tenderness as a man regards — not his son — but the young wife of his son.”
Sounds similar to what I've read in modern writers' blogs...
WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation's broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, "It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can't catch a break."
WASHINGTON—After emerging victorious from one of the most pivotal elections in history, president-elect Barack Obama will assume the role of commander in chief on Jan. 20, shattering a racial barrier the United States is, at long last, shitty enough to overcome....
Just minutes after their party's longstanding losing tradition lay in tatters on the ground, millions of shell-shocked Democrats stared at their television screens in disbelief, asking themselves what went right. For Democrats, who have become accustomed to their party blowing an election even when it seemed like a sure thing, Tuesday night's results were a bitter pill to swallow....
Voting is a fundamental right, but as I saw on the Carter-Ford commission and again as a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Election Day resource disparities have enormously different racial and class impacts that are based on the dynamics of power and poverty. In election cycle after cycle, registrars act surprised when problems crop up disproportionately in poor neighborhoods. If there isn't enough money to run decent elections everywhere, Americans should share the pain equally.