My audiovisual treat today is thanks to Open Culture (via Brian Pickings) with this short but very nicely composed slideshow of F. Scott Fitzgerald reciting a speech from Othello.
There is a quiet thrill in hearing a much loved author whose voice heretofore was simply his words on the page, come alive in languid, flowing tones, all smooth cadence and sad rhythms. We’re so used now to the media treadmill of book releases accompanied by wall-to-wall author interviews but to hear Fitzgerald crackling through the last century into the present is quite special.
As the explanatory note points out, the sound quality suggests more than one take has been edited together to make the recording but here at least is the first part the speech he recites from Othello Act 1, Scene III:
Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approved good masters,
That I have ta’en away this old man’s daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her:
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little bless’d with the soft phrase of peace:
For since these arms of mine had seven years’ pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field,
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broil and battle,
And therefore little shall I grace my cause
In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnish’d tale deliver
Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration and what mighty magic,
For such proceeding I am charged withal,
I won his daughter.