Monday, January 17, 2011

A campfire/flashlight held against face story

"When I am no longer even a memory, just a name, I hope my voice may perpetuate the great work of my life. God bless my dear old comrades of Balaclava and bring them safe to shore. Florence Nightingale."

Phonograph recording of, duh, Florence Nightingale, from 1890.

I didn't even know such recordings existed. Reminds me of the audio diaries from a Ken Levine game. Note what she is saying, talking about the time after her death, becoming merely a name, less than even a memory -- it seems she was well aware of her lasting fame, but also what such fame ultimately means. Even more interesting is how she is saying it; her words carried by a strange melody, articulated in a high-pitched voice, which might be due to the recording quality of the time, but perhaps also because of an intentionally forced way of "public" speaking back then.

Now listen to it again, sort of get used to the idiosyncratic way she speaks, and there is a chance you will suddenly realize that you just formed a link -- perhaps not quite, but almost to be called 'personal' -- with someone who was born about 200 years ago.

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