UKEMI AUDIOBOOKS is a new digital label for the spoken word founded by Nicolas Soames. It presents fiction and non-fiction titles which are either unavailable as downloads or which need fresh, clear and authoritative recordings. They range from C J Jung’s important autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections and Seneca’s The Moral Epistles, to Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks and Samuel Beckett’s Murphy. For details of all releases click on the CATALOGUE tab. All titles can be downloaded from Audible.
ANOTHER MAJOR NON-FICTION CLASSIC FROM UKEMI AUDIOBOOKS
Some books develop a reputation which continues to exist even when the book itself – in the old days – has gone out of print. Spengler’s The Decline of the West was unquestionably one of these, though it continued to appear in abridged versions. Then print on demand and digital downloads gave it another lease of life – and now at last it is appearing on audiobook!
The work was such a momentous re-thinking of the growth and decline of world civilisations when it first appeared (Volume 1 in 1918, Volume 2 in 1922, Complete 1923) that it became an immediate hit. Then, over the years, it gradually went out of fashion though a long list of intellectuals in many disciplines have acknowledged its influence on their work and thought, including Joseph Campbell, Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Camille Paglia. It certainly covers an extremely wide spectrum across philosophy, politics, economics, religion, sociology and history; and, bearing in mind the turmoil of recent years, and the changes and shifts of power in geopolitics over the past decades, it is not difficult to remark on the relevance today of Spengler’s vision. This is backed up by the prodigious amount of reading that went into the development of his views…making it a totally absorbing and fascinating read whatever one’s ultimate assessment of his conclusion.
And there is no doubt that this is an extraordinarily tough challenge for the reader. With massive works such as The Anatomy of Melancholy to his credit, it was clear that Peter Wickham was the man for the job…and he has, I contend, risen magnificently to the task!
Another great influence on the 20th century, especially the first half, and in France, was the philosopher Henri Bergson. Matter and Memory, which will shortly be available on Audible, is arguably his most important work after Time and Free Will. Originally, it bore the subtitle ‘An Essay on the Relationship of Body to Spirit’ and as this suggests Bergson set out to refute the prevailing ‘mechanistic’ view of the way the brain and consciousness work. It is absorbing, and has enjoyed a revival of interest in recent decades. Michael Lunts once again presents Bergson with clarity.
SPANISH AUDIOBOOKS – Ukemi Audiolibros
Meanwhile, Ukemi Audiolibros, the growing Spanish wing, has been in the recording studio, working on two more titles. Así habló Zaratustra, Nietzsche’s most famous text, is read by Fernando Simón and is now available on Audible. And La interpretación de los sueños, read by Salvador Bosch should be up on the site towards the end of February.
There are five titles available at the moment:
More are on the way!
TRACK LISTS – IMPROVED INFORMATION
New Chaptering / Track List Service from Ukemi Audiobooks
A number of regular listeners have pointed out that while Ukemi recordings are widely valued, the chaptering or track lists of the recordings when downloaded from Audible can be improved.
As a result of these comments we have been looking more closely at the system and we see that Ukemi uploads have not matched Audible protocols. Detailed information for chapters/track points provided by Ukemi have often been contracted into Chapter 1, Chapter 2 formulas.
This is not helpful for some of the titles we offer. In many cases, there are no ‘chapters’ in the original texts (!) which leads to confusion for the listener; or at the very least it means that the paucity of the information means the listener finds it difficult to navigate back to particular points to listen again or check something.
Recently, in some cases, we have supplied supplementary PDFs, which can be downloaded with the recording. These contain clearer information – though sometimes by the time the recording has gone through Audible’s system, the tracks do not match.
We hope, from now on, this mismatch will no longer occur. But there is the issue of the back catalogue. Following discussions between Ukemi and Audible, we hope that, gradually, the ‘chapter/track list’ information will be upgraded. But we realise that Audible has a huge task in ingesting the increasing number of new audiobooks being released by publishers each month, and back catalogue improvements may be lower on its priority.
So, to help, Ukemi is offering downloadable pdfs with track information that matches the existing recordings.
You will see, at the top of this page, a new dropdown menu – TRACK LIST PDFS. You will see, to start with, track information for all seven of The Socratic Dialogues (Plato), The Nicomachean and Eudemian Ethics (Aristotle), Capital (Karl Marx) and Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Jung). More will be added at regular intervals.
Here is an example of what these Track List pdfs provide.
We will endeavour to add to these lists regularly. But if you don’t find a title that you are listening to, or for which a track list would be particularly helpful, please get in contact (see under CONTACT) and we will respond as soon as we can.
And, of course, we welcome feedback.