Sylvia Plath’s voice is deeper than expected and tinged with inflections of the British accent — very proper, very film star. Camus sounds just as French as I thought he would. Sartre is more nasal than expected, Heidegger more breathy. Ted Hughes is more precise, higher-pitched, less intense and wild. Virginia Woolf could be a professor at Hogwarts; Dame Maggie Smith’s manner of speaking in the Harry Potter films is very reminiscent of Woolf’s way of speaking. Anne Sexton has a low, husky drawl.
Amongst those living, Ian McEwan is very proper, Jonathan Franzen very collected, and Nicole Krauss simultaneously diminutive and assertive — and these are the voices I’ve amassed in my own person, and, hopefully, more will be heard and experienced in the near future.