On Christmas Day last I posted something on Anthony Burgess and his unpublished short story on the Tarot, Chance Would be a Fine Thing. You can now hear it read on BBC iPlayer by John Sessions - my thanks to Arcatiste poet Köy Deli for drawing this to my attention. It's only available for four days from today for reasons not given.
The BBC explains: 'Burgess himself was fascinated by the idea of cartomancy (or predicting the
future with cards). He designed his own set of Tarot cards for domestic use,
and, when working as a schoolmaster in Oxfordshire in the 1950s, he disguised
himself as 'Professor Sosostris the famous clairvoyant' and told fortunes at a
Written in the early 1960s, the short story is a slightly amusing cod-morality tale about the perils of misusing the divinatory cards (as opposed to using them at all). A middle-aged woman wants to know if she is ever likely to come into any money but is befuddled by the card-reader's deft ability to avoid specificity. Sessions' crone voice impersonations are a titter.
To listen to the story, click here.