the autobiography of Stephen Fry, copyright 1997, available from Arrow Books.
Just go read it.
(Miss Melville: you need to read this because there's a great section about the nature of truth and The British Personality that I think may prove vaguely relevant to your cultural studies. If nothing else it's a great jape to lump it in your Biblio.)
Stephen Fry is brilliant with words, we all know that. He's not just clever or witty with them, as are many charming punsters. He genuinely loves them, knows them intimately, and understands their origins and many changing usages through time. As such, he chooses his words very carefully and very deliberately (yet maintaining a tone of chatty spontenaity -- there is nothing stilted or contrived about his style). Each word is there because it is the only one that will do. It is the correct word for that space, and no other word could fill its function. For the reader, it's like looking at a painting by a Dutch Master, every brush stroke doing exactly what it is meant to do. It's a joy, a genuine joy to read, never mind the content.
And the content is just as good. He goes back and forth between personal anecdotes and grand cosmic thoughts, in a sort of conversational way. It's an easy read, and yet still thought-provoking. His section on music and the way it effects him, the way he affects music, and the social consequences therein, is breathtaking.
I don't understand the title. I know it's from Psalm 108, but I don't understand its meaning or relevance. If anyone else does, please share with the rest of the class.
Overall rating: 4 bungling buggerers
(Oh, and this bit is funny. Apparently once instead of committing suicide, Stephen Fry once went to Belgium instead, as a sort of punishment. Go watch "In Bruge" and tell me if that's not the funniest thing you've ever heard in your life.)