Babel, Isaac


Oh, aren’t we lucky!? A double-bluffed, double-dipped, double-headed dose of Isaac Babel. When you’ve had a listen here and discover that you’re still running low on your recommended daily serving of Babel, you might head here to find a new recording of an old reading of another one.

And because I’m not above shallow attempts to inveigle you into listening, let me mention that this story includes a pivotal scene with one man sucking the blood from the neck of the other. How’s that for a quick million?

Also, note that tomorrow (7th January 2010) will feature the debut of my audio recording of Jon Frankel’s The Man Who Can’t Die. I’m not as good at pure self-promotion as a I am inveigling, or else you would have found out about this podcast through some anthropomorphic cartoon string bean singing a jingle about it on the television. But I’m excited about it and hope you are too.

Kharms, Daniil

Fedya Davidovich

HEY, Internet, I want to tell you all about Earideas.

Wow, that sounded a little snake-oily- let me try that again:

Step right up folks and have a look at the one, the only, the world’s finest, most discriminating, most hyperventilating-inducing collection of the web’s best audio content: Earideas.

There, that’s a little less in your shopping cart of the internet sell-out mall. And I won’t even mention that Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast is included in the Earideas directory of the internet’s best audio content (Are you surprised, really?), although I guess it’s too late.

The real reason I want to tell you about Earideas is because I’ve been challenged. I’m supposed to find “The Five Best Podcasts I Know,” and while I do -know- of five other podcasts, it strikes me that -you- probably have the internet a little better tapped than I do.

So, uh, anybody know any good podcasts, other than this one? You can share them with me through the comments or by email to miette (at) this domain. And I won’t be offended, and assume that whatever you send is your Number 2 pick. Right?

Or, you can go straight to Earideas and tell them yourself.

And in exchange, I’ll give you a story. A good one.

Zoshchenko, Mikhail

The Westinghouse Brake

Plenty of you (because I’m supposing you’re all geniuses) are aware of the arguably unattributable (King Solomon? Buddha? Lincoln? Miette?) aphorism, idiom, and, notably, universally applicable phrase “This Too Shall Pass.” Well, it’s been an unannounced mission for years to find another cluster of words of universal applicability and universal truth. And today, on a walk, I spotted a shop whose name is:

Everything 99 Cents or Less… And Up.

And with that, one more of life’s little desires is ticked off the to-do. And for our next trick, Soviet Social Satire!

Ilf and Petrov

On a Grand Scale

So, Ilf and Petrov met while working on a newspaper for railway workers, which is intriguing to me. For starters, where’s the podcastresses’ newspaper, and why have I not been invited to participate? My life’s literary collaborator could be waiting there, slinging the pen on the audio-coding equivalent to pieces on socialism and coal hauling, and if he or she is really someone destined to be -my- partner in literary fiendishness, well, better hurry cause Yr Miette is become quite skilled, multiple personalitily speaking. Maybe it’s just that I’m pretty sure I’d feel right at home in pre-war Soviet Russia. And, ehh, I don’t mean that in any sort of nationalistic way. I mean, if Ilf and Petrov managed…

Sarraute, Nathalie


For your bonus bedtime track this week, I’ve decided to double up on (I suppose?) relative abstrusity, author-wise. But this time, I’m in the fortunate position of already knowing and loving and potentially endlessly blathering about today’s subject, to prevent us all from hitting the high mile dudgeons over these recently mentioned desultory obsessions. And so, Nathalie Sarraute, and yes, she was stunning!

Gogol, Nikolai

The Diary of a Madman

Ahh, so you’ve noticed that I still hadn’t read any Gogol, despite a-hundred-some readings including enough of a Russian contingency to keep a stronghold on the world weight-lifting championships for the next few centuries, and despite a story by an Italian all about Gogol, in its own peculiar way.

The truth is, I haven’t yet read Gogol for only one reason, though it’s a valid one: I fear if I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop. Gogol is that close to the cuffs. And much as I love him, this is not Gogol’s Bedtime Story Podcast. It’s Miette’s. And she’s evidently a little protective.

But you’re right. Gogol should be here, so here it will be. And it’s long, long enough that my throat hurts, long in the hope that thirst for Gogolic podcasting might be quenchable. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough. After all, I’m the King of Spain.

Bunin, Ivan

The Primer of Love

8 of Miette’s 2006 Predictions for the New Year:

— I will really really do all those things I meant to do in 2005, including those things in 2005 I was really really going to do after neglecting in 2004.
— Ditto 2003.
— When thinking of these podcasts, I’ll follow at least three of the Dalai Lama’s instructions, and be better off for it. (Though that one about silence; I’m doubting I can do much with that one.)
— Oh, that one last thing from the 2002 list, I’ll do that too.
— Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast will be noticed by the recording industry, complete a series of sold-out stadium tours, and have mashups produced interlacing these stories with the lyrics of dead rockstars. I will donate proceeds to libraries and digital audio archival efforts, and maybe have a little party.
— I will get around to satisfying the few outstanding story requests, and maybe even take new ones (leave requests in comments or email to miette (at) this domain).
— Miette’s Bedtime Story Empire will start Podcasting in 64 languages, then become the subject of a minor politics-or-drugs scandal which will only increase its popularity and prove its longevity.
— And maybe even this site will get a redesign.

Stay tuned, be happy and prosperous, and check back next year to see how much of this happens.

All the best,

Chekhov, Anton

A Work of Art

Welcome to this, the humble inaugural edition of Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast, which is really nothing more than my excuse to have a podcast.

You see, I’ll bet that other people don’t read to you enough. I know that people don’t read to me enough. So this way I can read to you, and then later listen to it myself, and take care of all our problems. Or at least take care of this one. For all of us.

And, damn, in this epoch of soundbites and blurbs and headlines and lightspeed nanonews, maybe we could all take a break and just listen to a Miette read us a story? So whether you’re in bed waiting to doze off, or spinning on one of those elliptical machines at the company gymn, or on your way to work, maybe it’d be nice once in a while to sit back and close your eyes and let me read you a story from time to time?

Unless you get to your work by driving a car, in which case don’t close your eyes. If you take the train or other public transport, on the other hand (and you should if you can! But this isn’t a platform for my opinions on energy conservation), you can close your eyes, that’s fine, but stay alert and keep your possessions close to your cuffs. You know how people are these days (not everyone is the sort of person to PODCAST you bedtime stories. Some people would be more inclined to pinch your wallet, or take advantage of you and your closed eyes in even more nefarious ways). If this is all too complicated, you can keep your eyes open; that’s fine.

I’ll start with something short, so as not to try the patience of either of us, and since I’m starting with short fiction, it should go without saying that I’d start with Chekhov. This is Miette we’re talking about, after all.

Anyhow, there’s a big multi-volume, multi-coloured printing by Ecco Press of probably all of Chekhov’s short stories, simply called The Tales of Chehkov… tonight’s bedtime story podcast can be found in Volume 13, the lavender one if you’re now at the bookstore looking to read along, reading this blog from your blackberry while you listen. My god, that’d be wicked if you were.

Anyhow, if you’re still looking for the book, the lavender volume (volume 13) is appropriately titled Love and Other Stories, and this particular story is titled a Work of Art. It reads like O. Henkhov or something, and for that alone it’s worth a bedtime podcast.

Oh– here is that book, if your bookstore doesn’t carry it and you just want to order online through your blackberry (wow): Love and Other Stories