Topic RSS | Reply to topic
Author Post

Canzonett


Member

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 6:04pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Opening a new thread seems like a very bold step to take. The threshold of expectations looms threateningly before the tip of my cursor. But discussion all of Mr Fry's books in a thread entitled "Fry Books" in a subforum named "Books" in a forum solemnly baptized "The Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry Forum" seems a bit too confusing a categorical muddle to ignore it. Even though by splitting the original book discussion thread I risk to muffle or even suffocate the delicate debatorial plant that has only just started sprouting here. So, a separate thread it is. Let's click the "New Post" button to boldly go wherever our thoughts lead us ...

Since Moab Is My Washpot seems to enjoy ample appreciation among the members of this forum, I suggest to use it as our very personal springboard to the realm of what SF books really are.

If you need something to trigger your thoughts and warm up your imagination, you might write about when, where, why and how you first stumbled across this book, read it and reacted to it. My original interest for example had not been to find out more about Fry in persona. The shiny red cover starting the Fry row on a conventiently eye-level placed shelf in the bookshop simply happened to interlock with my optical nerve and make me buy it, because I had read Making History before and wanted to read more Fry.

What do you make of the title, by the way? (Ps 60,8 and 108,9, as you may know already.) I admit to being sick enough to actually look it up in my Latin bible (Vulgate), intending to crown this thread with a posh title, but abandoned this plan pretty quickly when I realized the Vulgate actually presented not less than four different versions for the single verbalization of the King James Bible:
    Moab olla spei meae (Ps 60,8 resp. 59,8 in Vulgate - Translation from the Septuagint)
    Moab olla lavacri mei (Ps 60,8 resp. 59,8 in Vulgate - Translation from the Hebrew)
    Moab lebes spei meae (Ps 108,10 resp. 107,10 in Vulgate - Translation from the Septuagint)
    Moab lebes pelvis meae (Ps 108,10 resp. 107,10 in Vulgate - Translation from the Hebrew)


Couldn't make up my mind which one to use.

Back to top

Lovely Jane


Member

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 6:23pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
say... how many university degrees do you have?

Back to top

AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 6:32pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
say... how many university degrees do you have?

Since when are university degrees a definitive measure of erudition?

Back to top

Canzonett


Member

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 6:49pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
They aren't. And I am just a helplessly spluttering idiot hiding behind a wall of words.

Back to top

AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 6:55pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
They aren't. And I am just a helplessly spluttering idiot hiding behind a wall of words.

We all hide behind walls of words - you just decorate yours with murals.

Back to top

Lovely Jane


Member

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 6:57pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
ohh.... you aren't

I'm just jealous because I don't even know half of the words you use

Back to top

AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 7:06pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
What do you make of the title, by the way? (Ps 60,8 and 108,9, as you may know already.) I admit to being sick enough to actually look it up in my Latin bible (Vulgate), intending to crown this thread with a posh title, but abandoned this plan pretty quickly when I realized the Vulgate actually presented not less than four different versions for the single verbalization of the King James Bible:
    Moab olla spei meae (Ps 60,8 resp. 59,8 in Vulgate - Translation from the Septuagint)
    Moab olla lavacri mei (Ps 60,8 resp. 59,8 in Vulgate - Translation from the Hebrew)
    Moab lebes spei meae (Ps 108,10 resp. 107,10 in Vulgate - Translation from the Septuagint)
    Moab lebes pelvis meae (Ps 108,10 resp. 107,10 in Vulgate - Translation from the Hebrew)


Couldn't make up my mind which one to use.

Not having read the book yet, can't contribute much to the discussion, but as to which translation is best, I think you should use the last one. Can't go wrong with a pelvis.

Back to top

utterlyutter


Member

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 9:42pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Thought I would post a little comment about Stephen Fry's autobiography, as it is probably still one of my absolute favourites, which I regularly find myself dipping into and enjoying/marvelling over once again.

I first picked this book up as a precocious fourteen year old, rummaging through my parents' shelves of done-with books in the hope of finding something new and interesting to read. I took Moab Is My Washpot, together with The Liar, back to my room and began my first delicious reading of what turned out to be a fantastic choice.

I knew of Fry's work in television, in comedies that I had loved, and already appreciated his wit and intelligence. However, as I devoured Moab, I came to appreciate his personal voice as a writer far more than I had his public persona. This autobiography may be an adult book, but it also had a deep resonance with this alienated and angry teenager. Reading Moab was like finding a kindred spirit, and the energy, bile and sparkiness of Fry's stream-of-consciousness account of his troubled youth pulled me in and fascinated me.

I hope and trust that I am not the only one to have discovered this fantastic, lyrical, brutally honest autobiography at an early age. Fry describes, in flowing, glowing terms, his adolescent relationship with music and film, and their life-changing capacity to upturn the landscape of a teenage mind. I hope that if he should happen upon my little commentary, he will be gratified to know that, along with my own choice of other cultural products, his book gave me that feeling of openness, possibility and connection. It is a masterpiece of personal writing and I am infinitely grateful to him for sharing and giving so much to his readers.

Back to top

Canzonett


Member

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 10:44pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
See, this partly answers one of the questions which struck me when reading Moab: "What would a young reader approximately the age of the narrated Stephen gain from this book? Would he/she like it?"

I never conceived it as a book exclusively for grown-ups, but as one that must appeal especially to growing-up readers who feel insecure and adventurous and desperate and energetic about their lives themselves. It's fascinating to read that it actually hit your frequency of vibration and excited a resonance in you.

Back to top

AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 10:52pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Slightly off-topic, but then ahead, maybe not: has anyone here actually gone through their teenage years without any sort of mental or emotional turbulence? I never rebelled, never underwent any fundamental shifts in weltanschauung, never went wild. Never developed a taste for any sort of narcotics or stimulants. No mental shifts to speak of. Guess all that must still be ahead, eh?

Back to top

Canzonett


Member

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 10:56pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Pretty much the same for me. I actually thought I could simply jump over those notorious teenage years and all the pubescent nonsense entangled into them. Might turns out that I never managed to complete that jump and am simply shuffling adolescence ahead of myself.

Back to top

AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 11:01pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Pretty much the same for me. I actually thought I could simply jump over those notorious teenage years and all the pubescent nonsense entangled into them. Might turns out that I never managed to complete that jump and am simply shuffling adolescence ahead of myself.

That's sort of what I'm afraid of. I'll probably be 35, a parent of two or three brats, a homeowner and completely swamped at work, when suddenly I'll feel insupressable urges to dress in funky clothes, pierce various parts of my body that Nature did not see fit to, stay out late on weeknights, drink myself stupid, join a cult, switch political parties and ride around in fast cars without a seat belt.

Oh wait, that's a mid-life crisis, isn't it?

Back to top

Canzonett


Member

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 11:06pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
See, Mr Fry, you must write that sequel ...

Back to top

AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 11:12pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
From your lips to Fry's ears. Childhood is nice, adolescence is great, but what everyone is really dying for is the Cambridge years.

Back to top

Anachronism


Member

Posted Tue Sep 26th, 2006 11:20pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
See, this partly answers one of the questions which struck me when reading Moab: "What would a young reader approximately the age of the narrated Stephen gain from this book? Would he/she like it?"


I first read it last year, when I was fifteen and in the Bethlem hospital. It was like they say in The History Boys : "The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else ... and it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours."

Back to top