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Posts tagged "Stephen Fry"

Improve Thyself! On the Fantasy Person You’re Failing to Become

If you go to an American bookshop, by far the biggest section is self-help and improvement. The idea that life is refine-able and that you can learn a technique for anything, whether it’s love-making, being a businessman, marriage, cooking, losing weight, whatever it is. There’s a Tony Robbins way of doing it, there’s a things-they-didn’t-teach-you-at-Harvard […]

A Glory of Our Failure: Stephen Fry on the Anthropology of British Humor

A winning perspective on the great continental divide between the American Comic and his British predecessor. Stephen Fry describes that what makes British humor great is its starting point at, quite literally, original sin. British humor, unlike the American one-liner, involves the capacity to accept one’s own unchanging failures, which actually makes for true character development. While it could be argued that, while the American hides behind the glory-story, the Brit hides behind his or her self-abasement (or even his or her nihilism), it certainly seems to make realer on-screen personalities. The first two minutes are golden, ht CE:

Unpleasant Associations and Chunks of Wood in Evelyn Waugh’s Helena

To the extent that one makes lists of one’s favorite authors, Evelyn Waugh has long been at the top of mine–or very close to it. Brideshead Revisited was the first novel I read after becoming seriously interested in Christianity that moved me on a sympathetic level, confirming that my cultural and religious curiosities could indeed […]