“The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line,” by Charles Waddell Chesnutt

Charles Waddell Chesnutt at the age of 40.

Charles Waddell Chesnutt at the age of 40.

Over at LibriVox there is a complete audio recording of “The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line,” by Charles Waddell Chesnutt.

According to the LibriVox write-up, the “The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line” is:

The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line

Charles Waddell CHESNUTT (1858 – 1932)

Published in 1899, The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line is a collection of narratives that addresses the impact of Jim Crow laws on African Americans and white Americans of the South. Many of Chesnutt’s characters are of mixed-race ancestry which sets them apart for a specific yet degrading kind of treatment from blacks and whites. These stories examine particularly how life in the South was informed through a legacy of slavery and Reconstruction—how members of the “old dominion” desperately struggled to breath life into the corpse of an antebellum caste system that no longer defined the path and direction in which this country was headed. (Introduction by James K. White).”

There are ten short stories in this collection and clicking the links below will take you too James K. White‘s reading of the short story:

1. The Wife of His Youth

2. Her Virginia Mammy
3. The Sheriff’s Children
4. A Matter of Principle
5. Cicely’s Dream
6. The Passing of Grandison
7. Uncle Wellington’s Wives (Chapters I & II)
8. Uncle Wellington’s Wives (Chapters III & IV)
9. The Bouquet
10. The Web of Circumstance


The following is a rather amusing quote from Martin Cruz Smith‘s “Wolves Eat Dogs,” the fifth Arkady Renko novel:

Wolves Eat Dogs,” by Martin Cruz Smith:

“Good, because the captain’s brain is like a closet light that sometimes lights and sometimes doesn’t. This time it didn’t; the next time it might, and he’ll connect Timofeyev and me and you. He’ll check on your papers or call Ozhogin. He has the colonel’s number. It might be wise to go now.” [ Arkady Renko said.]

“We’ll wait. By the way, Noah was an asshole, too.” [Bobby Hoffman said.]

“Why Noah?” Arkady asked. This was a new indictment.

“He didn’t argue.”

“Noah should have argued?”

Yakov explained, “Abraham argues with God not to kill everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah. Moses pleads with God not to kill worshippers of the golden calf. But God tells Noah to build a boat because He’s going to flood the entire world, and what does Noah say? Not a word.”

“Not a word,” said Bobby, “and saves the minimum. What a bastard.”

I must confess, I never thought about it that way. Martin Cruz Smith has a point about Noah. I’m not entirely sure what that point is given that in the Abraham and Moses stories God is talking about killing a few thousand people, and not the entire blippening world. I’m not sure I would argue either if I thought the whole of humanity sans my family was going to be exterminated. But that is most likely Martin Cruz Smith‘s point, most people wouldn’t argue, not if they were honest. Just like nobody argued with Hitler or Stalin or W. Bush come the end. “Befehl ist Befehl,” or “I was just following orders.”

10 USC § 892 – Art. 92. Failure to obey order or regulation

Current through Pub. L. 113-36. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)

Any person subject to this chapter who—

(1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;

(2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by a member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or

(3) is derelict in the performance of his duties; shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

Failure to obey the lawful order of God? What is lawful for a God? Now that’s a good couple of questions. But any way you want to cut it, in the historical text, Noah doesn’t even try. Maybe that’s why he got so drunk later on the in his hang-over, he cursed one of his own sons to live in slavery to the other two for the rest of mortal time. What a winner all around Noah was. All to human.

"Wolves Eat Dogs," by Martin Cruz Smith

“Wolves Eat Dogs,” by Martin Cruz Smith

Currently Reading: “Gods Behaving Badly,” by Marie Phillips

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

I am currently reading the debut novel “Gods Behaving Badly,” by Marie Phillips. I’m about half way through, and I like it for the most part. It’s a bit sexually graphic for my taste, but so is most of pop culture these days. The basic idea is that all the ancient Greco-Roman gods are living in modern day London, and are behaving more or less like they always have.

Yes, I am still try to figure out what the deal is with this WordPress “Missed schedule” error. If you know, please enlighten me.