Friday, March 7, 2014

The Flexible Persona--me!!

I was intrigued yesterday when I heard this story on NPR about a couple who in the 1960s decided they would run around and record new and emerging authors reading their own work. Recordings weren't new, but access to recording equipment was getting more and more affordable and portable. ...The Schwartzes' idea was to record such authors, put them on vinyl LPs, eight minutes per side, sell the records for $1.95 apiece, and pay each writer $150 — pretty good money in the early '60s....

First they started with James Baldwin reading from Giovanni's Room who then connected them with Bill Styron who led them to Philip Roth. Today we can listen in on the young Roth--before he was famous. These voices from the past still speak to us today.

That's why I was so enthusiastic about The Flexible Persona--an online journal publishing in both the written and audio format. I think this is something more and more literary journals will begin doing--just as stories are shrinking and we're seeing more and more flash--listening will become a standard option of getting content. We've also seen the growth in popularity of The Moth and other storytelling series.

Check out my non-fiction flash story entitled Herbie about my early days in Chicago--it's a little scary.

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