Wharton’s The Valley of Childish Things, and Other Emblems

I recorded this collection of short parables by Edith Wharton a few months ago, as a sound test for my latest recording booth. It’s just been catalogued and is now available for general listening:

[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/short_story_049_1108_librivox/shortstory049_07_valleychildishthings_cs.mp3] (13:48)

In the introduction to another of her short story collections, she wrote:

“To a generation for whom everything which used to nourish the imagination because it had to be won by an effort, and then slowly assimilated, is now served up cooked, seasoned and chopped into little bits, the creative faculty (for reading should be a creative act as well as writing) is rapidly withering, together with the power of sustained attention; and the world which used to be so grande a la charte des lampes is diminishing in inverse ratio to the new means of spanning it; so that the more we add to its surface the smaller it becomes.”

Little pieces, yes, deliberately so, and beautifully-written. Hopefully they’ll be as fun to listen to as they were to read.

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