Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On the Job with Frank Herbert

We listened to an audio recording of Dune, by Frank Herbert, today at work, for at least four hours. It's grim, but Herbert is a superb storyteller and language-spinner; and the production, on Audible, is top-notch. As I'm on my feet a lot, I kept missing pieces of the story, but I think I'm getting most of it.

The invented vocabulary is fascinating and marvelously odd. There is a term that kept coming up— Kwisatz Haderach — which means one who can be many places at once — and every time I heard it I also heard knick knack paddy whack which then evolved into cuisinart heart attack.

No way to explain any of this. No need to. The brain loves patterns.

It's a rare treat, listening to an audio book on the job. We are so rarely all sitting down at the same time, and it's even more rare to be able to go long stretches without the necessity of some work-related conversation.

This book may take months, but no one's complaining.

(And yet another reason why I feel so fortunate to be making art for a living.)

1 comment:

  1. I am always reminded of the readers at the cigar rolling factories, and what a terrific idea this was for those who work.

    I listen constantly to books in audio format, while doing my workouts and housework. These are often a break from the relentless necessity to read for scholarship. What a pleasure to read about the reign of Louis XIV -- so far outside my New World realms of colonial and antebellum slavery. Or to listen to a mystery by Louise Penny. And sometimes I learn something that contributes to our work in spite of myself, as with Making Haste From Babylon (the epic story of how the Pilgrims came, finally, to Massachusetts and found, finally, the product that made the colony profitable, beaver furs -- thus no more beavers, but never mind).

    I also am able to listen to lectures by distinguished scholars that are online.

    These days instead of readers giving most laborers a great book it's the endless shuffle of faux pretense to music on Pandora or whatever, over and over and over, the same damned playlist. How the cashiers at my supermarket don't go crazy hearing yet again Gypsies Tramps and Thieves I do not know.

    Love, C,