Monday, December 08, 2003

Asimov blog.

Over the weekend, for no special reason that I can think of, Isaac Asimov came to mind, and a short hop via Google led me to an archived edition of Fresh Air featuring Dr. Asimov, dating from 1987. So I listened to it. I can't remember the last time I read anything of his, though I'm sure it was years before he died in 1992. According to a Web site either run by, or at least sanctioned by his widow and daughter, he actually died of AIDS, contracted during a triple bypass in the days of tainted blood. I'd never heard that before.

It was interesting listening, at least for those of us with faded recollections of Foundation and Robot stories, or his science columns. I was familiar enough with some of his ideas, but what really struck me was his voice. I don't think I'd ever heard it. He sounded like a New Yorker of my parents' generation. Which, of course, he was. The New York dialect was audible, naturally, but so was the cadence and pacing of people who grew up in the '30s or '40s.

He mentioned his well-known dislike of traveling. It's a puzzling psychology to me. Someone so obviously curious about the world who never bothers to go see some of it. Then again -- and an indefatigable traveler friend of mine, Ed, introduced me to this idea in a letter once -- perhaps if you asked, you'd find that as many people are afraid of traveling as they are of public speaking.


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