Reading fiction aloud

Saint Catherine’s College, Oxford

I attended a sustainability forum in Wadham tonight, followed by a fancy dinner. I even got to see a well situated and previously unexplored room in college. Much more enjoyable, however, was spending a couple of hours later in the night reading aloud from Stanislaw Lem’s Mortal Engines, Simon Singh’s Fermat’s Last Theorum, Vladamir Nabokov’s Lolita, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and chapters 2-47 of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

I really love fiction, and quite enjoy reading aloud. With unfamiliar text, it can be quite challenging, even in the best of circumstances. You need to develop an intuition for the shape of an author’s phrases, so that you can start speaking the first portion without reading the end. Perhaps, that explains why I appreciate Nabokov so much and never enjoyed Faulkner. I don’t think you could read the latter aloud, except in halting steps where an entire sentence was decoded before the first syllable was uttered.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

3 thoughts on “Reading fiction aloud”

  1. Ban on cluster munitions moves one step closer

    Forty:six nations including Switzerland have adopted a declaration in Oslo calling for a 2008 treaty banning cluster bombs.

    Swiss officials praised the outcome of the two:day conference, saying it was a step in the right direction even though many major powers did not attend.

  2. The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Measure of a Man” is actually quite a sophisticated piece of fiction. Science fiction can be a mode through which beings grapple with what they are.

  3. From Meaghan Beattie, on “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:”

    “Hey I just finished the book you gave me. I really liked it. I’ve worked with a number of autistic individuals but none as high functioning as Christopher’s character. I liked the narration. Some of it reminded me of you because of the many detailed scientific or mathematical explainations.
    Personally I related to the times when Christopher was overwhelmed because of influxes of stimuli.

    Thanks, it was a really great present.”

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