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  • Read-Along T.S. Elliot

    TS-Eliot2 As he probably did for many, T.S. Elliot inspired my love for poetry. Reading him twenty five years after struggling through the Wasteland in my parent’s copy of the Norton Anthology, I have new insight into his appeal. While some poets wrote about love or abstract art or the will or nature or romanticism, Eliot articulated a sensation everybody knows: Utter despair in the face of boredom. Before the oppressive office cubicle existed, Eliot wrote poems that instantly transported you into one that did not have an exit and was made of gray carpet.

    What does this have to do with digital publishing? Well — it’s the medium. Poetry can’t be rendered differently to make it more itself, but our reactions to it can be so varied they require other media to express. What Elliot’s poetry has made me feel I’ve always described as, “the feeling you get when you hear Eliot read it.”

    Eliot made a few recordings of the Wasteland. His voice is thin, reedy, and forlorn sounding. He puts a wistfulness into the recording that reinforces its melancholy. Ever since, I’ve read the Wasteland in Eliot’s voice in my head—which makes lines such as “we stopped in the colonnade/And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten./ And drank coffee, and talked for an hour” sound like a pessimist’s summary of the emptiness of life.

    I’ve always wanted to express this feeling to others and now I’m able to realize my dream with Vook: I’ve embedded audio of Elliot reading the Wasteland into an ePub of the poem, creating a read-along Wasteland experience in just a few minutes.

    With Vook, it’s easy to create audio and video enhanced eBooks—which means you can spread your vision of literary despair far and wide, and finally share the little voice in your head with everyone else in the world.

    See what I’m talking about: Get the free ePub here.

    Related posts:

    2. Too Busy to Read?
    4. Bringing you Vook: Read it, Watch it.

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