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WRITERS’ WEB WATCH

WM’s resident web crawler dives into the dusty archives to hear great authors direct from the horses’ mouths

We always say that writers should read their work aloud – it’s the best way to make sure of its rhythm, pace and general feel.

If you want to be inspired by the masters, the internet is a goldmine if you know where to look – or in this case, listen. Most people, for instance, will be aware of Richard Burton’s recording of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, but what about hearing Dylan Thomas reading his own work to find out how the great Welsh poet intended his poetry to sound? It is fascinating to listen to him reciting his poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (http://writ.rs/donotgogentle) in an undated audio clip on archive.org. Even taking into account the way that reading styles change over decades – this reading is actorly rather than naturalistic – there is something powerfully compelling about hearing the words in the poet’s own voice, as he, presumably, intended them to be heard.

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