Read Paperweight by Stephen Fry Free Online
Book Title: Paperweight|
Date of issue: October 18th 1993
ISBN 13: 9780749313975
The author of the book: Stephen Fry
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.44 MB
Read full description of the books Paperweight:so, quite a few years ago, a friend of mine gave me a bunch of episodes of the young ones because he knew i liked british comedies. i watched the first episode - and was baffled. this show was weird, crass, loud, foul. none of the sketches made sense. everyone shouted, all the time, for what seemed like no discernable reason. was this supposed to be punk? alternative comedy? or what??
but i stuck with it, out of sheer stubbornness, and finally made it to the episode where the gang somehow ends up on university challenge (a.k.a. quiz bowl for college students) against the "oxbridge" team, made up of emma thompson, hugh laurie, stephen fry, and ben elton. (i was going to describe how the young ones sketch goes but instead i'll just link to a clip: here.) and just like that, I GOT IT. the key background i had been missing, all that stuff the young ones was setting itself in opposition against (yikes, what a mess of prepositions) - it all finally slotted into place, in that moment when the show put it in context for me. and suddenly, magically, i found the show now hilarious, and weirdly brilliant.
to clarify, it wasn't the exaggerated send-up of class ("i've got a porsche!") that made things click for me, it was the way the show plays with the comedy sketch format itself - or rather, the way it just doesn't give one sh*t for it, when all's said and done. the part with the footlights could probably have stood on its own as a perfectly respectable parody, something you could easily imagine being shown on an british version of SNL or something, but the young ones not only resisted this aura of clever parody but rendered it utterly meaningless, through violence and the non sequitur.
all of this is my very round-about way of collecting my thoughts on this stephen fry collection, which is exactly what you might expect it (and him) to be like: self-deprecating, massively intelligent, witty, charming, careful. i always fall madly in love with anyone who can speak in complete paragraphs, with such articulation that you can practically hear the semicolons in their speech, and stephen fry is definitely of that number. but there's something rather . . . antiquated about him, something in line with the footlights parody (even as stephen fry himself participates in that parody) that doesn't lend itself much to a revelatory experience. at first it surprised the bejeesus out of me to realize fry was in his late 20s and early 30s when he started writing the stuff collected here...but then again, that's exactly what i mean - impossible to think of stephen fry as anything but an old soul, even in his 30s.
ah well. still enjoyed thumbing through this, and i do admit i went "teehee" every time he mentioned his "good friend hugh laurie." one whole section of this book consists of a series of radio broadcast transcripts, which suffers from the lack of nuance that live performance provides, but the articles and essays i found eminently readable. also, through one of his essays i learned that "senior wrangler" is actually a real thing in britain!! i had always thought terry pratchett made up the term for discworld because it sounds so silly, but no. who knew!
(incidentally, fry's essay defending the use of academic "jargon" made me want to literally leap up and hoot with pure joy. THIS GUY GETS IT! i wanted to shout, while pumping my fists triumphantly into the air. the next time someone complains about "theory" to me i am going to stuff that person's mouth shut, perhaps literally, with that essay. ALSO, fry does a mini-review for elaine showalter's the female malady!! be still my nerdy heart!!!)
Read information about the authorStephen John Fry is an English comedian, writer, actor, humourist, novelist, poet, columnist, filmmaker, television personality and technophile. As one half of the Fry and Laurie double act with his comedy partner, Hugh Laurie, he has appeared in A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. He is also famous for his roles in Blackadder and Wilde, and as the host of QI. In addition to writing for stage, screen, television and radio he has contributed columns and articles for numerous newspapers and magazines, and has also written four successful novels and a series of memoirs.
See also Mrs. Stephen Fry as a pseudonym of the author.
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