The Creston Valley Public Library presents The Monologue with Christine Munkerud as its next living book on Nov. 23.
Munkerud was born and raised in England, which is where her love of reading aloud began. Her interest in the monologue was reignited when she attended a theatre performance in Norway with one of Norway’s best actors.
“The memory of his monologue still makes me smile,” she said.
Time rolled on as time tends to do and although Munkerud had an interest in the dramatic monologue and had a few preliminary ideas for writing one, it was never pursued. Recently, however, she decided to explore this dream.
A dramatic monologue features one speaker with an implied listener, and the audience often perceives a gap between what the speaker says and what they actually reveal.
Dramatic monologues, and reading aloud, were in days gone by very popular, as literate families and friends read aloud to each other as a matter of habit. Books were still relatively scarce and expensive, and the routine electronic diversions we take for granted were, of course, nonexistent. If you had grown up listening to adults reading to each other regularly, the thought of all of us solitary 21st-century individuals plugged into electronic devices would seem isolating and sterile.
The monologue recaptures the physicality of words. To read with your body — your lungs and diaphragm, with your tongue and lips — is very different than reading with your eyes alone. The language becomes a part of the body; they are the breath and mind, perhaps even the soul, of the person who is reading or presenting.
The Creston Valley Public Library’s Living Books speaker series is a way for community members to learn from each other. Living books are real people, your friends and neighbours, volunteering to share aspects of their own story. Through living books, the library seeks to encourage the sharing of knowledge and passion between people. Each month, the library hosts a get-together where a member of your community shares their personal experiences. Topics are varied, from art to travel to local history to coping with loss, and everything in between. Attendees of the speaker series learn more about the people in their community and their diverse backgrounds and expertise.
Check out living book Christine Munkerud at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Creston Valley Public Library. Admission is free. For more information, call 250-428-4141.
—CRESTON VALLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY