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Monday, August 28, 2006

A short story read by Stephen Hawking


We don't know how he did it, but Steve Moran from the local Spare Monkeys pub quiz team, has acquired a recording of the great Stephen Hawking reading one of his (Steve's) short stories, which we now present for your edification. Panic (5.6 mb, wav)


Dr Gerald Francis (ret'd) said...

My word, that's quite a coup. I would love to hear him read The Burial of The Dead from The Waste Land.

Prof. Helmut Kronk (Science Correspondent) said...

I mentioned it to the Professor, while I was interviewing him about his new theory that effects are responsible for causes, and he showed off by reciting it from memory! And here is the result.

dr gerald francis (ret'd) said...

In my pamphlet Proctology and the Prostate in the Quadraplegic I happened to mention my acquaintance with a young lady who had some penetrating knowledge of what she called "the sexiness of the Professor."

She said that it was a treat beyond compare "to hear Molly Bloom's filth drip from his lips". Being something of what I believe is known as 'a literalist' I had previously assumed she was insinuating, for reasons best known to herself, that the Professor was somehow interested in coprophilia and that she meant, quite literally, that she loved the sound of filth dripping from his lips and thudding to the floor. Now I see that she was aware of the professor's readings of the great literatures of the world.

Though, by confessing this of course I am not saying for one moment that coprophilia is necessarily an aberration. I think we in the medical profession no longer believe in "aberrations". We no longer believe as did the ranks of "Dear Marge" and "Dear Katie" that an interest in things other than uniting face to face and horizontally with our wives in the dark is necessarily perverse and an indication of psychosexual crisis. In that respect we are the ultimate post-modernists.

My dear wife Evadne is very much taken with the poetry of the late Constantine Cavafy. She is not at all keen on translations but one of her favourite poems of his I believe relates to our profession as much as it does to artists and other imbibers of knowledge, and I will need to quote from a translation to make my point. No doubt the good and learned Professor will be acquainted with it.

"I went to secret rooms
considered shameful even to give name to.
But not shameful to me, because if they were,
what kind of poet, what kind of artist,
would I be?"


Evadne Seferis-Francis said...

Gerald neglected to mention that the extract he quotes is from the poem "And I lounged and lay on their beds" which is dated Septemeber 1915.

I brought the poem to my husband's notice since Gerald's specialism in proctology chimed with Cavafy's 'secret rooms'

Simon Moribund (assistant chief nerd) said...

Many thanks to Stephen Hawking for his excellent reading, and also for his popular novels, and not least his wonderfully atmospheric short stories. How he manages to combine bestselling thriller writing in fiction with Cosmological Physics breakthroughs and publications I just don't know. And then for him to help a struggling local newspaper as well, all I can say is the man is a brick. Apparently, he also provides the voice for Adobe Reader 6.0, so it just goes to show, if you want something doing ask the busiest person.