Mostly Well

I felt pretty good yesterday, and I feel pretty healthy today. I think I might have one or two more days of suboptimalness, but for all practical purposes I’m well.

Yesterday I was listening to some talks I downloaded from It’s a traditionalist Catholic group with some very interesting audio, drawn mostly from these traditionalist/academician confabs that they have in various places. (Like, say, Italy. With people like, say, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand.) They also reprint some old audiotapes as mp3s, like Fulton Sheen.

The downside is that, although the mp3s drawn from tape have been processed fairly well for sound quality, they haven’t gone through the talks to eliminate long pauses and so on. Also, there seem to be a lot of cases where there was only one tape recorder going, so you lose the part where the tape turned off and got flipped while the speaker kept on talking. Nor do they warn you about such things or give you file lengths in all cases. So it’s a bit of a grab bag.

My favorite mp3 so far was a talk given in the 80’s at the ancient Marian shrine of Ladyewell at Fernyhaugh, in Lancashire near Preston. A cute little English priest acts as guide while people go from the well to the recusant-built house nearby which served as a rectory and chapel. Unfortunately we miss most of the parts about the locally connected martyrs, but it’s fascinating, nonetheless. If you go on YouTube, you can supplement this “sound tour” with video. (The place has apparently been improved/augmented a bit, but beautifully. The idea of turning a ravine into gardens for walking and prayer is carried out in a really stunning way.)

My second favorite was a three part talk on Homer (and why the Fathers liked him). They made a very good case for regarding the Iliad as a sort of psychomachia. I really want to reread the Iliad now to see if this plays out. (And because I just want to reread the Iliad.) There was also some talk about the Odyssey, but I didn’t get to hear the end of that. My local library has an audiobook version of the Odyssey available for temporary listening, so there’s a stroke of luck.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but George Guidall’s reading of the unabridged Iliad is something everybody should listen to. For those of us who don’t speak Greek, an audiobook in English read by a good voice actor from a good translation of the poem is the closest we can get. This is oral literature, meant to be heard, recited, or read out loud. Even if you’ve read these poems before, it’s a whole different experience to hear them read to you.

(There’s also an unabridged reading by Ian McKellen of a different good translation, so it’s probably also quite good.)


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