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Garnet


Member

Posted Wed Sep 27th, 2006 7:40am 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?

I was the same way - I spent a lot of my teenage days reading, writing, or listening to music. Had lots of friends and even joined some extracurricular clubs at school, but I had zero interest in partying and things like that. Of course, now I sometimes worry that I'm just doomed to go through it at 25 instead.

I read Moab when I was seventeen and just about to graduate from high school. I didn't really stumble on it - truth is, I'd picked up Stephen Fry's other books several months earlier because I'd been impressed by his performance in Wilde, and so by the time the US edition of Moab was released I was more than ready for more of his stuff.

I'm not sure how put into words how it affected me at the time, but when I think back to that period, this book is inextricably linked to it. Over the years since I've reread it and occasionally find myself cracking it open to go over random parts. It's one of my favorite books, because of the honesty and language in it.

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Canzonett


Member

Posted Wed Sep 27th, 2006 4:38pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
I have read the books only some weeks ago, but I can imagine that it belongs indeed to the species the specimens of which can turn into livelong companions and friends. What opened my heart to the book when I turned the first pages were its mottoes, especially the Ibsen quote. It looked strangely familiar yet oddly warped at first sight, until I realized the reason for the ambiguous effect it had on me: In the Norwegian original, this is actually a poem, and even our first encounter (in the preface to a German translation of "The Wild Duck" or "Hedda Gabler", I think) had seen this quote in versified shape. It is one of my favourite quotes about poetry.


At leve er - krig med trolde
i hjertets og hjernens hvælv.
At digte, - det er at holde
dommedag over sig selv.

Leben heißt - dunkler Gewalten
Spuk bekämpfen in sich.
Dichten, Gerichtstag halten
über sein eignes Ich.

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WhatWouldJeevesDo


Member

Posted Sat Sep 30th, 2006 6:47am 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?

I have. MISM helped with cope with it. I was just learning about Stephen when I decided to buy it. When I read it, I couldn't help but to think parts of it were from my journal. I had two mental breakdowns, and almost attempted suicide Some of the events in Stephen's younger life were almost exactly like mine,and it was then I realized I needed help. I was diagnosed with cyclothymia not to long ago. I struggle with my hypomania and my depressions. It's difficult at times to cope with it but I manage.

Other than cyclothymia, I guess I've been pretty normal. I never had the desire to try drugs and alcohol. I was, and still am, a voracious reader and writer. I love school. I wasn't a partier. Really, my friends think I'm a sort of a goodie-goodie and a wet blanket. I do like excitement and love have good adventures and what have you, but I just never been attracted to getting drunk or high. I never liked the idea of looking dumb while being high or drunk.

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Canzonett


Member

Posted Sun Oct 1st, 2006 12:16am Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
'xactly. Besides, I never liked the idea of losing control over myself in an inebriated condition. Of being a potential danger for people around me, who I might hurt physically or psychically. And of being liked or accepted for displaying a personality that is not really mine. To all this add the fact that I do not like the taste of beer - actually quite an embarrassing feature for someone born, grown up and still living in Munich, a mere ten minutes bicycle ride away from the Oktoberfest ... :-//

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Sun Oct 1st, 2006 6:24pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
I got this book for Christmas and started reading it straight away and found it impossible to put down. I wish I could have read this when I was still a lonely teenager. I wish I could have found out sooner that there are other people who went through the same shit during adolescence and felt the same way. I think that's the wort thing when going through depression, you think you're all alone and that there's something wrong with just you while everyone else in the world seems fine and dandy.

It was a very interesting read. His childhood really did sound like something out of a 1950s children's story and seemed a bit unreal at times even though it was. His school experiences were a mixture of amusing stories and the kind of confusing and painful that everyone goes through at that age. There were some humourous parts in the book as well, some so funny that I only ever tried to read the book when out in public once before realising I couldn't manage it and was on the verge of having a fit of giggles.

From your lips to Fry's ears. Childhood is nice, adolescence is great, but what everyone is really dying for is the Cambridge years.

I wish he would write a sequel but didn't he say in the Douglas Adams webchat that he hadn't any plans for any new books in the near future? I suppose that doesn't rule it out entirely. I'm still disappointed at the news he's pulled out of writing a Dr Who episode because of the amount of work he'd still have to do for it even when the script was finished.

Other than this book all I've read is articles he's wrote in Paperweight, in newspapers and that's appeared on websites. I can't wait to read some of his fiction, particularly Making History. It sounds like my cup of tea.

Assuming direct control...

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Tue Oct 3rd, 2006 6:02pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot


I wish he would write a sequel but didn't he say in the Douglas Adams webchat that he hadn't any plans for any new books in the near future?

Yes, because sicne it involves other people in the "industy", as well as his current friends, it'll just degenerate into an orgy of well-wishing and cooing.

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amyl_nitrate


Member

Posted Tue Oct 3rd, 2006 10:03pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot


I wish he would write a sequel but didn't he say in the Douglas Adams webchat that he hadn't any plans for any new books in the near future?

Yes, because sicne it involves other people in the "industy", as well as his current friends, it'll just degenerate into an orgy of well-wishing and cooing.
Oh yeah I remember that now. He said he'd either have to be all 'luvvy' when talking about other celebrities or he'd have to be honest which could turn unpleasant. I'd rather him write no book then one where he wasn't being honest with himself. That's what made his first book so appealing.

Assuming direct control...

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comedybuff


Member

Posted Thu Oct 12th, 2006 12:42am Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
I have just recently finished Fry's Moab is my Washpot and found it one of the best books that i have ever read. not only did Fry have my attention the whole way through but as i started to near the end of the book i was really dissapointed as i new that i was coming to the finish of a masterpiece of literary work. i am now eager and willing to know when Fry will do the next 20 years of his incredible and adventurous life for me along with offers im sure that we're desperetly waiting for the sequal of this outstanding life to hit the shelves.

lets just keep our fingers crossed in the mean time!

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Maniac


Member

Posted Sat Oct 14th, 2006 9:00am Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
I've not read this thread in case it has 'spoilers' but I've just got the book following watching the TV documentary and joining this site.
I'm so far only about 40 pages in but I find myself snatching moments to read just a bit more.
His style of writing is wonderful.
I've not read any of this other books but I am a lover of biographies - this one is set to be one of my favourites.

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Sat Oct 14th, 2006 2:34pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
[Please note: My following praise of Moab contains a small spoiler]

I love Moab. Apart from the brutal honesty it´s both outragiously funny and unbelievably sad. Oddly enough, it was Mr Fry describing his deep passion for music and his not being able to join in because of what he calls 'tone dumbness' that probably touched me most. A wonderful passage in a beautifully written gem of a book.

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Maniac


Member

Posted Sun Oct 15th, 2006 4:41pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
I'm now 100 pages in and can't stop thinking about it!
What a wonderful style he has.
I'm addicted. X-D

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Fryphile


Member *

Posted Sun Oct 15th, 2006 5:45pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot


I wish he would write a sequel but didn't he say in the Douglas Adams webchat that he hadn't any plans for any new books in the near future?

Yes, because sicne it involves other people in the "industy", as well as his current friends, it'll just degenerate into an orgy of well-wishing and cooing.

I'd still love to read the chapter on strip-chess with Hugh.

I think of myself as someone who is filled with love, whose only purpose in life was to achieve love. - Stephen Fry

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diamond


Member

Posted Mon Oct 16th, 2006 12:34am Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Moab is one of my favourite books, I often re-read it or read parts of it.
No other autobiography I have read compares to this one, others just seem to write about what happened and were very straight to the point without writing about how they felt when certain things happened to them. Stephen on the other hand explains his feelings in a way that I couldn't, when he was writing about his teen years I had some of the feelings he had but I could never convey this to people in the way that he can.

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Dina


Member

Posted Tue Oct 17th, 2006 2:03pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot


I wish he would write a sequel but didn't he say in the Douglas Adams webchat that he hadn't any plans for any new books in the near future?

Yes, because sicne it involves other people in the "industy", as well as his current friends, it'll just degenerate into an orgy of well-wishing and cooing.

But but but... there's nothing wrong with orgies!

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Canzonett


Member

Posted Tue Oct 17th, 2006 9:11pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
But but but... there's nothing wrong with orgies!

Not as long as they are limited to some frames in a comic book (Asterix in Switzerland!), a few pages or a chapter in a novel. But write a whole book filled with orgies? Only if your first name is Petronius, I suppose ...

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