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Miss MacIntosh, My Darling: Chapter 82, part 1: About the Storm that Destroys the Opium Paradise, thus Striking the Opium Lady with Sudden Old Age, Daisy Alden



Daisy Alden reads from Chapter 82 “About the Destruction of the Opium Paradise” of Miss MacIntosh, My Darling by Marguerite Young. Aldan was a poet and publisher based out of New York. Her literary works earned her The NEA Poetry Prize and three Pulitzer prize nominations. Many accredit her with being one of the first to publish the works of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. The Destruction of Cathedrals and Other Poems (1963), The Masks Are Becoming Faces (1964), Breakthrough (1971), Between High Tides (1978), and Day of the Wounded Eagle (1991) are some of her more notable published works.

Amidst a treacherous seaside storm, the narrator, Vera Carpenter’s childhood home is lost. Her mother, whom she refers to as the “Opium Lady” throughout the novel, also perishes. Vera and her father are the only ones to attend the Opium Lady’s funeral. On the drive home, she reflects on how the loss of her mother and her mansion represents the end of an era of sorts… she is now a grown woman.

Often compared to James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, Young's novel resonates with unique and poignant observations of American culture, in an epic and surrealist poetic prose. It took the under-recognized, enigmatic and iconoclastic author eighteen years of work to complete this dense, two volume novel.

In 1976-77, Charles Ruas produced a series of WBAI radio programs focused on literature and radio performance, called The Reading Experiment. As part of this series, Miss MacIntosh, My Darling was read over a year-long period by Marguerite Young’s contemporaries from the New York City literature, music, and theater communities. All readings are underscored with soundscapes and music by artist Rob Wynne.

This program has been restored by The Clocktower Radio; with the assistance of Charles Ruas; and by agreement with The Yale Beinecke Library, home to the Marguerite Young Papers. Special thanks to Dr. Contance Eichenlaub for her passion and generosity.

 

RELATED PROGRAMS

Marguerite Young: Miss Macintosh, My Darling

RADIO SERIES

In 1976-77, Charles Ruas produced a series of WBAI radio programs focused on literature and radio performance, called "The Reading Experiment". As part of this series, Miss MacIntosh, My Darling was read over a year-long period by Marguerite Young’s contemporaries from the New York City literature, music, and theater communities. All readings are underscored with soundscapes and music by artist Rob Wynne. The readings in the their entirety can be listened to here, as part of the Historic Audio from the Archives of Charles Ruas. This program has been restored by The Clocktower Radio; with the assistance of Charles Ruas; and by agreement with The Yale Beinecke Library, home to the Marguerite Young Papers. Special thanks to Dr. Contance Eichenlaub for her passion and generosity.
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