An Oral Tradition

On Saturday, the three BSP co-founders (Kristy, Jason, and I) joined Fred Venturini and three other writers for Noir at the Bar at Meshuggah Cafe on the Loop.

The concept is that local writers read their most noir-ish short stories or novel excerpts. I have to say, I was pleased by the attendance–there were about 30 people crowded into the tiny Meshuggah loft. It’s encouraging to think that so many people would choose a reading on a Saturday night over the myriad of other events available on weekends.

Live performances are something for which musicians have a distinct advantage over writers. A live concert is an experience, an instant memory shared with hundreds or thousands of fellow fans. The place is shaking with excitement.

But what I realized on Saturday is that live reading is a unique animal of its own. A good reader–and many of the readers were good–bring new life to a story. It’s like the days of yore when people sat around campfires and told epic stories all night. Every reading in 2011 is a proud echo of that tradition, of stories passed from one to the other, generation to generation.

With beer, of course.

Thanks to Subterranean Books for sponsoring the event. It was a great night, and great to see Fred entertain the masses (can I say “masses” about 30 people? I think that’s fair).

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2 Comments on “An Oral Tradition”

  1. Richard Thomas Says:

    I heard this was a great event. I read with these guys a couple months ago, as I’m originally from St. Louis, and it was a great time. I read with Jed Ayers, Scott Phillilps, Kyle Minor and Anthony Neil Smith. I would’ve loved to have seen Fred read, as well as Frank Bill. Kudos.


  2. Thanks, Richard–it was a good event. Hopefully you’ll be back to read there at some point in the future!


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