Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, by Washington Irving

I read the original short story last week. I love the old fashioned language, especially in the beginning, as well as the harkening back to the days of Dutch New York. I also listened to an audio recording of the tale on Youtube--the rhythm is very flowing and jazz like. But some of that may have been due to the actor who read it.

The written story has a tongue-in-cheek tone and is understated humor. The headless horseman is actually a humorous hoax, with the joke being on Ichabod Crane.

By contrast, in so many of the cultural adaptations, the story is usually presented as actual acts of horror. The 1999 movie starring Johnny Depp has numerous camera shots of decapitations. I much prefer the kind of fear that is suggestive and the product of the imagination. In the original story, no one literally loses their head.

This is the kind of fiction I would like to be able to write.

The Written Text:

The Audio of Reading: