Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 074

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Twenty-one short nonfiction works chosen by the readers. "We must learn to dignify common labor." Booker T. Washington spoke plain truth at an 1898 Lincoln Day commemoration. Recorded during months of pandemic virus lockdown, unemployment, and mass dependence on the "common labor" of grocery clerks and delivery persons, Volume 074 of the Short Nonfiction Collection reflects its readers' reactions to uncertain times. Religion and Philosophy figure in several selections (The Second Epistle of Clement; Nietzsche on Nihilism and the Idea of Recurrence; The Counter-reformation in Scandinavia and Poland; Spinoza and the Bible; and Women and Holy Orders).

Praising human resiliency, William James recalls "the rapidity of the improvisation or order out of chaos" in Mental Effects of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake; while Samuel Johnson takes a verbal swing at the rich and powerful who look "with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help." (Letter to Lord Chesterfield, 1755). Tactless types who comment on gray hairs and brand eccentric people as "mad" are skewered in two essays by Anna Mowatt Richie. (Tactless People; Original People). Balancing these negatives is praise for accomplished individuals: James Wilson, Blind Biographer; Japanese writer Madame Yukio Ozaki; and pioneering chemist Agnes Pockels (Surface Tension); followed by a look at communal enterprise in the Salt Mines of Wieliczka.

Finally, virtual travel (Rhode Island), virtual bakery treats (Biscuits, Breakfast Cakes and Shortcakes; The Story of Crisco) and words of wisdom for times when life is turned upside down. (Reflections of a Stained-Glass Master). Creator of cathedral windows, artisan Christopher Whall writes "Pull yourself together in such an aroused and angry spirit as shall flame out against the difficulty with force and heat. Let the whole thing be as fuel of fire... and the chief difficulty may become...the chief glory ... like the new-born Phoenix, sprung from the ashes of the old and thrice as fair."

The Crisis: Nihilism and the Idea of Recurrence was translated by Anthony M. Ludovici
Surface Tension was translated by Lord Rayleigh
The Second Epistle of Clement was translated by John Keith

Summary by Sue Anderson
(8 hr 1 min)


Biscuits, Breakfast Cakes and Shortcakes - 1913 29:25 Read by BettyB
The Counter-reformation in Scandinavia and Poland, Part 1 1:08:23 Read by Piotr Nater
The Counter-reformation in Scandinavia and Poland, Part 2 27:29 Read by Piotr Nater
The Crisis: Nihilism and the Idea of Recurrence 13:48 Read by Craig Campbell
Eternal Recurrence 19:46 Read by Craig Campbell
James Wilson, Blind Biographer 54:46 Read by Sue Anderson
Letter to Lord Chesterfield 3:55 Read by Daniel Davison
Lincoln Day Address 9:07 Read by Larry Wilson
Madame Yukio Ozaki: A Biographical Sketch 21:08 Read by Colleen McMahon
On Some Mental Effects of the San Francisco Earthquake 18:37 Read by Winston Tharp
Original People 8:02 Read by Kelly S. Taylor
Reflections of a Stained Glass Master 17:09 Read by Sue Anderson
Rhode Island 7:56 Read by BettyB
The Salt Mines of Wieliczka 14:13 Read by Piotr Nater
The Second Epistle of Clement 29:58 Read by ancientchristian
Spinoza and the Bible (Part 1) 31:29 Read by Daniel Davison
Spinoza and the Bible (Part 2) 34:45 Read by Daniel Davison
The Story of Crisco 25:33 Read by TriciaG
Surface Tension 20:02 Read by Availle
Tactless People 9:19 Read by Kelly S. Taylor
Women and Holy Orders (1921) 16:48 Read by KevinS