Tomorrow, the British Library is releasing for the first time recordings of 30 British and 27 American literary giants—most of whom have not been heard on recording before. The catalogue includes Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, Gertrude Stein, and Arthur Conan Doyle. Raymond Chandler wins the prize for "drunkest interviewee," while Vladimir Nabokov sounds like "a ham actor reciting poetry." Nabokov describes the drudgery of writing thusly: "Harrowing irritation when strolling with my tools and viscera, the pencil that needs resharpening, the bladder that has to be drained, the word that I always mis-spell and always have to look up."
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