The Slows of Kilimanjaro

I’m starting to fall deeply in love with Voice of America Special English, a radio programming feature that combines the lightly chastising tone of NPR’s Morning Edition with the  two-thirds-speed wooziness of a screw tape. (I’ve written before about a feature VOASE did on Thomas McGuane and Cormac McCarthy.) New on the site is the first of a two-part piece on the life of Ernest Hemingway. The transcript is a nice enough read, but you really do have to download the MP3 and listen to comprehend the program’s pleasures–the sense that you’re back in an eighth-grade classroom, the languorous Calgon-take-me-away slowness, the assured and comforting voices of Shirley Griffith and Frank Oliver. When they get around to the bit about the shotgun in part two it’s gonna be agony, and it’s gonna be beautiful.

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