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Mengqi bitan


Member

Posted Mon Apr 20th, 2009 7:27pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Hi everyone, just registered. Random question here, but Stephen mentions somewhere in Moab a book about what I think was the art of card tricks and misdirection, but I cant remember what it was and cant now find it anywhere in the book. Annoying. Does anyone happen to know what it was?
I'm in the middle of re-reading it and haven't found it yet. Will let you know as soon as I do

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ImeldaLumos


Member

Posted Sun Jun 28th, 2009 1:53pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Remarkable in all sense. I recieved the same kind of feeling from reading it as I got of reading Roahl Dahl's autobiography. Exactly the same atmosphere was lingering on every page; the mad, eccentric youth - so colourful. Although, expressing oneself in minor terms, Fry's autobiography was smothering dark at some places, at some pages, and it was fascinating to follow 20 years of someone's Life so closely, so closely that words actually starts to thump against your head noisely, and you start to muse about that you probably know this bundle of joy (ha - ha, dull humour), which you unfortunately don't.
I guess, that the book would be a lot less believable if Stephen, the gorgeous man, were much more loving of himself and not aware of all sides of him. But Mr. Fry knows his sides, all pitch black, all white creamy white.
Many portions of self-irony, greatly contemplated phrasing, and nice/painful honesty - I believe in it's authenticity. A former liar conjured himself, became an upright and honest man. And I doubt that there's such a field as 'white lies' in Fry's world anymore.
"One that tells white lies, soon grows colour blind".
He's not looking at his younger Life, sitting on the window sill, either. He's standing in front of the mirror, he dragged the skin, emotions and agonies around him again, writing it.
I enjoyed the book, and I found the passages with Fry's thought most thrilling, the crunchiest and delicious parts of the book.
I've heard rumour about another book, covering the years from the entering of Cambridge to... Actually, I don't know.
I felt intrigued when hearing the great piece of news. It'll be interesting to see alterations in his Life, and get a closer look at his and Hugh's friendship, and a closer look at Hugh, too. Because, frankly, we do not know much about the other half of Fry/Laurie, he keeps his mouth fairly quiet on most subjects of his Life.
On the contrary, Fry's sharing his Life, in most cases, to other's benefit. People saying he's smug, deceitful, too honest, and a pain somewhere dark and nasty, obviously haven't read "Moab is my washpot", that's my concluding sentence.

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Joanna_Kelley


Member

Posted Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 1:47pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Hi!
I'm not a native speaker and sometimes it's very difficult for me to understand what's written down in the text. Should greatly appreciate your help.

edition: Arrow books, 1997

p. 13
"GABBITAS & THRING
SCHOLASTIC AGENCY

I don’t suppose that any writer will ever be able to come up with a partnership that quite matches the ludicrous perfection of the names Gabbitas and Thring.
What is a Scholastic Agency?
Oh, tish now, and come, come, come.., you know perfectly well."

What does "tish" mean? Has it smth to do with tshhh (e.g. mother to her child in the theater: tshhh!! don't be noisy!"). I belive "tish" is some slang word.


p. 41
"A few years ago I was asked by John Kett’s successor to open the Cawston School Fete, or Grand Summer Fair, to give it its due title.
Anyone who grew up in the country twenty or thirty years ago knows a lot about fetes. Fetes worse than death, as my father called them with self-¬ironising ho-ho jocularity.
At East Anglian country gatherings there was dwile flonking — now sadly being replaced by the more self-conscious urban appeal of welly throwing. There was bowling for a pig — in those days country people knew how to look after a pig..."

Marked by bold. I'm at a loss. Is it some dialect?

*) Sorry for my bad English.

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exoskeleton


Member

Posted Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 2:36pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
tish, as far as I can gather, is something a very light negative word. I don't think it's the same as "shhhh" like a mother would say in a theater. there, I'd use the same word as "oh, come on!" don't take it from me though, because I think it is an older type of English slang and I'm American and have never heard it spoken by anyone I know.

the second phrase you asked about-- I'm inclined to say those are nonsense words. maybe it means something in some version of English.

sockdolager.

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 2:39pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Dwile flonking is some sort of contest. Check out wikipedia, it's explained there. I've also encountered 'tish' as a dismissive exclamation (Oh tish and pish).
Welcome, by the way.

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Joanna_Kelley


Member

Posted Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 3:15pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
exoskeleton
Soupy Twist,

dismissive/negative exclamation, ok. Then as far as I understood the author himself interrupts his own story to gave his personal attitude to such phenomena as Scholastic Agency. And this attitude seems to be negative. Correct me if I'm not right.

Dwile flonking is some sort of contest. Check out wikipedia, it's explained there.
Just so. Stupid of me to ask. Beg pardon.

Welcome, by the way.
Oh, thank you very much. Frankly speaking I was and is terribly scared of writing there.

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Spitfire


Member

Posted Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 3:40pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Hello!
Awww don't worry about it!
So long as you're polite, then everyone's friendly! ^_^

(And I had no idea what Dwile Flonking is XD)

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exoskeleton


Member

Posted Thu Jul 2nd, 2009 11:05pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
exoskeleton
Soupy Twist,

dismissive/negative exclamation, ok. Then as far as I understood the author himself interrupts his own story to gave his personal attitude to such phenomena as Scholastic Agency. And this attitude seems to be negative. Correct me if I'm not right.

yes, he is interrupting the story. I don't know out of context whether he's speaking to us the readers, or if he is speaking to himself. but the attitude is slightly negative and dismissive.

sockdolager.

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Joanna_Kelley


Member

Posted Fri Jul 3rd, 2009 12:44pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
exoskeleton, now I'm absolurely sure. Thank you.

Spitfire,

Got new questions. Moab, p. 40.
"First I will tell you what in reality John Kett chooses to remember about me. One by-product of slebdom is that those who taught you are often asked to comment about your young self. Sometimes they do it in newspapers, sometimes they do it in public."
I guess "slebdom" is a neologism not yet fixed in the dictionaries. Then I think it to be the coinage of words "sleb" and "dom". "Dom" comes from words like "kingdom" and "boredom". But what is "sleb"? Has is smth to do with celebrity? Then I guess "slebdom" may be regarded as synonym to "fame". However I don't think it is full synonym. It seems to me it has some connotation. What connotation does it have? Negative?

Moab, p. 55.
"John Kett was, still is I hope, a lay preacher and a better advertisement for Christianity than St Paul himself. Then again, in my unqualified opinion, Judas Iscariot, Nero and Count Dracula are all better advertisements for Christianity than St Paul ... but that’s a whole other candle for a whole other cake. You aren’t here to listen to my ignorant ramblings on the subject of theology."
I guess I get the essence of the phrase. "That’s a whole other candle for a whole other cake" means "I won't discuss this problem because it is beyond the scope of this book". But I can't find where the original phrase comes from. Is it some proverb? Perhaps it is decomposition of some set phrase? Oh may be it is a line from some carol?

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BREAK.MY.FALL


Member

Posted Fri Jul 3rd, 2009 1:10pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Spitfire,

Got new question. Moab, p. 40.
"First I will tell you what in reality John Kett chooses to remember about me. One by-product of slebdom is that those who taught you are often asked to comment about your young self. Sometimes they do it in newspapers, sometimes they do it in public."
I guess "slebdom" is a neologism not yet fixed in the dictionaries. Then I think it to be the coinage of words "sleb" and "dom". "Dom" comes from words like "kingdom" and "boredom". But what is "sleb"? Has is smth to do with celebrity? Then I guess "slebdom" may be regarded as synonym to "fame". However I don't think it is full synonym. It seems to me it has some connotation. What connotation does it have? Negative?

I may be able to answer that question. I have the german version of Moab is my Washpot lying infront of me and I searched for that quote.
Seldom is translated as some kind of sufferable or bearable famousness.

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ginj


Member *

Posted Fri Jul 3rd, 2009 3:08pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
Hope you don't mind me jumping in here. Both of the examples you have cited are really Mr. Fry just having some fun with the language. Celeb-dom, is short for saying the world of the celebrity (celebrity-kingdom combination; celebrity being, as Break.My.Fall has pointed out, is basically being famous).

The second phrase is an amusing way of saying; but that doesn't really have any connection to what we are talking about here. A more common phrase, although I don't know if it would help you, is to say, but that is different story for a different time (or another kettle of fish, but that last part has probably just confused you more so ignore it X-D ). Hope that helped.

Just wanted to add, one of the things that I love about Mr. Fry is his command of the language and how he plays with it. But I do understand how it can be very confusing to a non-native English speaker.

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Joanna_Kelley


Member

Posted Fri Jul 3rd, 2009 4:37pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
BREAK.MY.FALL, cheers! After all I've nearly guessed myself. Perhaps I'm not beyond hope?;)

Hope you don't mind me jumping in here.
Still impressed habitants of this forum don't push me out and take pains to help :).

(or another kettle of fish, but that last part has probably just confused you more so ignore it X-D ).
Surprise!! It does ring the bell ;). Have come over it somewhere. What's more, this idiom is easy to find in the dictionaries.

I'm eager to know what is the nature of the expression with candles :-//. What does you mean by "funny/comical way of saying"? Is it an extremeley well-known to English speakers proverb/saying? Or is it an original invention of Mr S. Fry?

But I do understand how it can be very confusing to a non-native English speaker.
By the way not so very confusing. Par example Galsworthy is much more difficult to read. Fry doesn't not employ such great number of words which are well known to natives, but put at a loss many non-native English speakers. Like names of trees, or flowers, or some pieces of garments, etc.

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BREAK.MY.FALL


Member

Posted Fri Jul 3rd, 2009 4:44pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
BREAK.MY.FALL, cheers! After all I've nearly guessed myself. Perhaps I'm not beyond hope?;)


Oft course not

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ginj


Member *

Posted Fri Jul 3rd, 2009 4:54pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot


I'm eager to know what is the nature of the expression with candles :-//. What does you mean by "funny/comical way of saying"? Is it an extremeley well-known to English speakers proverb/saying? Or is it an original invention of Mr S. Fry?

Ooh, this interests me greatly. So I am going to both try to answer it and ask a question at the same time. The easy answer is that the phrase you refer to is something that was made up for fun by Mr. Fry. It is a unique way of saying that it is something not related to the main topic, it is not a common way of expressing this.

But here is my question, or maybe I just got confused. :-// Not too unusual for me. X-D You ask about the nature of the expression with candles. I am not totally sure what you mean. I am not certain if that means you are not familiar with the custom of putting candles on birthday cakes or if you were still referring to the underlying meaning of the phrase. If the former is the case, then it is even easier to understand your confusion.

Also, if I may ask without appearing rude, where are you from? Or have you already said and I missed it. Of course, you do not have to answer if you don't feel comfortable doing so.

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Joanna_Kelley


Member

Posted Fri Jul 3rd, 2009 9:22pm Post subject: Moab Is My Washpot
The easy answer is that the phrase you refer to is something that was made up for fun by Mr. Fry. It is a unique way of saying that it is something not related to the main topic, it is not a common way of expressing this.
Formidable! Thank you for exlaining so precise and to the point.

But here is my question, or maybe I just got confused. :-// Not too unusual for me. X-D You ask about the nature of the expression with candles. I am not totally sure what you mean. I am not certain if that means you are not familiar with the custom of putting candles on birthday cakes or if you were still referring to the underlying meaning of the phrase. If the former is the case, then it is even easier to understand your confusion.
Your confusion is explained by my bad English, I think. I understood the meaning completely even before asking there, at (or on?) the forum. However I guessed only because of the context, I didn't understand what image makes the foundation of the expression (I don't think "to make/serve a foundation" is an English expression, but at a moment I don't know how to explain it differently) . Only when you mentioned "candles on birthday cakes" did I realise what the whole talk is about. And certainly the custom as such is familiar to me.

Also, if I may ask without appearing rude, where are you from? Or have you already said and I missed it.
Russia. Medvedi, vodka, Krasnaya Ploshad)))))))))))))))))))

Of course, you do not have to answer if you don't feel comfortable doing so.
You are too polite. That looks suspicious. I'm worried ;).

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