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Shitsoff


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Posted Wed May 15th, 2013 9:51am Post subject: "MAYFAIR IS MY WASHPOT" - E.F. Benson

Having only just registered here the observations I want to make (that seem so bright, fresh and apposite to me) may well be very stale and yawn-inducing to all of you old-timers. Still...

First, I've only ever seen Stephen's title, Moab is my Washpot, explained as implying the book as a receptacle for the accumulated grime and time of youth. And, of course, a bloody clever attention-getter. Nothing wrong on either count. It surprises me, nevertheless, that he hasn't acknowledged (if indeed he hasn't) a passing debt to E.F. Benson's comment that for Oscar Wilde "Mayfair was his washpot". Perhaps it's one of those instances which all of us can attest to, of having come across a happy turn of phrase, stored it away for years, in the course of which any provenance is forgotten.

I'm moderately confident that Stephen would have come across the reference because:


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Shitsoff


Member

Posted Wed May 15th, 2013 10:02am Post subject: "MAYFAIR IS MY WASHPOT" - E.F. Benson

...oops - sent too soon. Somehow?

I think Stephen would be familiar with Benson's reference because he's well read (not least on Wilde) and because Benson is almost obligatory reading for the stereotypical, well-read gay man. No, I'm not calling our man 'stereotypical'. Anyway, there you are.

Secondly, I smile with approval at Stephen's cheekiness in rewriting Wodehouse to have Jeeves describe himself as Bertie's 'valet'. Stephen will know that Jeeves would sniffily insist that he was a 'gentleman's gentleman'. I'm sure that Stephen made this change for the sole purpose of pronouncing the final 't' in 'valet'. Good on him. I'd do the same.

Apologies if these observations have long since been canvassed.

itsoff said:
Having only just registered here the observations I want to make (that seem so bright, fresh and apposite to me) may well be very stale and yawn-inducing to all of you old-timers. Still...

First, I've only ever seen Stephen's title, Moab is my Washpot, explained as implying the book as a receptacle for the accumulated grime and time of youth. And, of course, a bloody clever attention-getter. Nothing wrong on either count. It surprises me, nevertheless, that he hasn't acknowledged (if indeed he hasn't) a passing debt to E.F. Benson's comment that for Oscar Wilde "Mayfair was his washpot". Perhaps it's one of those instances which all of us can attest to, of having come across a happy turn of phrase, stored it away for years, in the course of which any provenance is forgotten.

I'm moderately confident that Stephen would have come across the reference because:


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