(The Married Priest or the Hesitation Waltz by Rene Magritte)
Episode 2.5 – The Owl in the Fountain is now available where ever you listen to podcasts, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. First time listening? You can start with Series 1, Episode 1. Subscribe to stay up to date as the mystery unfolds. After listening to Series 2, Episode 5, listeners are encouraged to explore companion materials below.
For this episode I spent a lot of time at the Barton Public Library. Built in 1892, the Barton Public Library sits in the town square. The library is one of 234 libraries in the state of New Hampshire. In fact, not only does New Hampshire have a library for each of its 234 communities, but it is home to the oldest state library in the country. Check out this report from NHPR, New Hampshire’s NPR local affiliate, on the state library’s 300th birthday.
The library is the setting for a humble stakeout I conduct in order to meet my supposed double, someone locals have been seeing regularly at various locations around town. The appearance of a double, or doppelgänger (German for double walker or goer), is a subject that has been written about or alluded to throughout human history.
Edgar Allan Poe’s 1839 story “William Wilson” describes a ghostly double. Poe’s birthday (January 19), and much of the story narrator’s description of his boyhood days resembles the author’s own life, right down to the name of the school William Wilson attends as a child. Here is a link to the story in its entirety.
Another story of a ghostly double is the equally famous novella by Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Double, most recently adapted for the cinema by director Richard Ayoade. Click the poster below to view the trailer.
Thanks to Josh Strickens, Sarah Fillingate, Tammy Moreleck, and the librarian at the Barton Public Library for making this episode possible. I’m afraid I got the librarian’s permission to record her voice, but I did not get her name. Thanks also to Tori Miller of Four Hands, Prom Queen, and Ben Von Wildenhaus for providing the music. Thanks also Shawn Crapo, Angel Smith, Marina Altschiller, and Tara Mcdonough for the support.