Heartwarming Thanks

by Hugh

One of our been-around-for-ages LibriVox volunteers, Gesine, started an initiative to collect and publish on our forums “thank you” notes sent to LibriVox from listeners, a great addition.

It’s been more than a year since I recorded anything for LibriVox, and the last thing I did was James Joyce’s “The Dead,” I think the most beautiful and moving short story I’ve ever read. LibriVox published my version of “The Dead,” from the Dubliners collection for Bloomsday, 2009. It was the one thing that I most wanted to read when LibriVox started, but it took me almost four years to get up the courage to do it.

I’ve never fancied myself much of an audiobook-maker, but there is a deeply spiritual engagement that happens when you record a book that you love. And that, always, has been (for me) a prime motivation for LibriVox, to give people a place to connect more deeply with books they love.

As far as I know, I’ve received two bits of fan mail for my LibriVox recordings, one ages ago for my overwrought chapter ofNotes from the Underground (one of our first LibriVox books); and just the other day I got another bit of mail regarding that recording of the “Dead.”

Here is what that note said, which (especially given the lambasting I’ve received for our recordings of Ulysses) makes me … it’s funny, trying to explain how it makes me feel… but the answer is grateful, though I couldn’t tell you why exactly:

Dear Mr. McGuire:
Thank you for your exemplary narration of Joyce’s “The Dead”. At the end I found myself listening in a trance-like state. My only regret is that Joyce never could hear it.
Yours,
David S.

In any case, thank you David S. for making my day.