RMSYL 2: The Owl Critic by James Thomas Fields (read by Gabor Kovacs)


One of the pleasures of doing RMSYL is being open to the experience of how other people’s enthusiasms will wing their way into your life and get you all gee’d up about stories or poems you might never have glanced at twice.

Having someone say “This story/poem/passage is so bloody brilliant I’m going to invite you round to my gaff, sit you down with a cup of tea, and read it to you!” means that you’re more likely than not to be infected by their enthusiasm.

Which is exactly what happened when I got an email from Gabor Kovacs, with a sound file attached to it that sounded something (if not exactly) like this:

I listened. Loved it. Listened again, reading along with the text in front of me. Loved it even more.

So I phoned him up and together we tried to work out why this obscure poem (certainly for a British audience) was such a delightful creature. This is how the discussion unfolded:

[If you want to hear more of Mr Kovacs, you can either slag someone off and then get him to represent you in court, or listen to his music podcast Electrical Language here]

6 responses to “RMSYL 2: The Owl Critic by James Thomas Fields (read by Gabor Kovacs)

  1. wonderful, great reading from Gabor, thank you. It’s always curious and fascinating what it is that moves us or gets and sustains our interest – often over many years as in Gabor’s case. That is partly what will bring me back to RMSYL – to keep finding out what other people love. Great project. Thank you.

  2. Thanks, I had fun.

  3. Well … this goes to show how listening to someone reading what they love is a whole different beast than reading it alone from the page.

    I didn’t have time to listen to Gabor at first, so I just read the poem on my own. I thought it was nice, but whatever.

    Today I listened and it is not a just a nice and whatever poem to me anymore.
    Thank you Steve & Gabor

  4. …just now listening to the after-read conversation I’m cracking up that you ask Gabor about his barbershop habits. Classic Steve inquiry. Perfect.

  5. As ever, you’ve put your finger on it, Fern.

    There is something deliciously “contagious” about listening to someone read aloud something they utterly love. And for me the delight, I’m discovering, is in finding myself enthused by EVERYONE’S choices, because it’s the love + the reading that makes it special not just the words on the page.

    Words are good, sometimes even exquisite, but without the people reading/processing/loving them, they’re nothing.

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