Much Like Joyce, I Often Exercise Stream of Consciousness.

I was reminded today, re various social movements of recent months, of this quote by Oscar Wilde:

“Still, we have done great things.

– Great things have been thrust on us […].

– We have carried their burden.

– Only as far as the stock exchange.”

It’s as if he had predicted us all (or, more likely, humanity has not changed one bit). This one’s from The Picture of Dorian Gray, which is a pretty great book, though I must admit I’m a much bigger fan of the plays. Especially The Importance of

Being Earnest – not the most original of choices, I know – if only for the clever name (and Miss Prism’s three-volume

novel). Liking a certain text usually means being predestined to hate any screen version of it, but I kinda liked the 2002 movie. True, it lost of lot of Wildeness and true, it was too showy which occasionally came at the expense of the wit. Still. I absolutely adore Colin Firth, not to mention

Rupert Everett as George the IV. "The Madness of King George", Samuel Goldwyn Company, 1994

Hugh Laurie as Prince Regent George the IV. "Blackadder the Third", BBC One, 1987

Rupert Everett, who is, by the way, a strong competitor for Funniest Depiction of George IV, along side Hugh Laurie in “Blackadder the Third”. And believe me, it’s a though one. Everett’s version in “The

Madness of King George” is a much round character; but then, you know, Hugh

Laurie. So there’s that. I mean, his Prince George is just “lucky! lucky! luck! luck! luuuck, luuuuck, *random chicken sounds*”. As opposed to Everett’s deliciously subtle cruelty. Definitely a though one. Incidentally, Alan Bennett, who of course wrote Madness, is alumni at Oxford – as was Wilde… And we have come full circle. Good night!

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Hurray for Blogism

Having given it an acceptable – yet not excessive – amount of thought, I have decided to jump-start my blog with a festive post on some recent readings (hurray indeed!). I’d be lying if I said I had a very specific, well-thought plan for this blog. Like any lazy writer, I’m mostly hoping it will soon develop a life of its own, or some other similar cliché. Either way, in a very appropriate manner, it begins… with a book.

Well, two of them.

The first is Jonathan Franzen’s long-awaited Freedom. Though I am usually not one for all this Americana (college basketball, suburbia, green-vs.-corporate politics), I found myself enjoying it very much. Which is perhaps not much of a surprise – I loved The Corrections – but mostly, I think, it goes to show that well-built characters and relationships can survive any setting. What was extra clever about Freedom, and only revealed towards the end, was that it is in a sense a book about a book (well, manuscript). Despite everything Walter B. was put through by his horrific wife, he stayed put; what finally broke him down and forced him to regain control was Patty’s manuscript. Oh, the ars-poetica of it all. Sometimes the situation needs to be put into words for us to fully accept and understand it (more on this later. Probably).

I was also going to say something about His Loveliness, Stephen Fry’s (latest) autobiography, The Fry Chronicles. Then I realized I don’t really have anything to say about it. What is there to say? Some people are born with the right words, some achieve them and some have those words thrust upon them; Stephen Fry seems to be all and none at the same time. He has all the right anecdotes and all the wit to make daily events into anecdotes too, which is way more useful. Mr. Fry, I adore you! There, I said it.