Celestial Weasel (celestialweasel) wrote,
Celestial Weasel

More Fry

Whilst on holiday I read (by the medium of the Kindle app for my iPod) volume two of Stephen Fry's memoires (basically running from when he started at Cambridge to when he started on the Coke). It is interesting to note how unfictional much of The Liar. Obviously we knew this to some extent from Moab Is My Washpot, but it is notable that Adrian's girlfriend in The Liar is called Bridget Arden and two of the women in his circle at Cambridge are Bridget something and something Arden. Also, the punk guy who he shares a set of rooms with is very clearly someone else real.
Clearly Fry is in the Too Famous To Edit category, as the maundering about how insecure he was / is and how terrible it is that people thought he and the gang were brash and confident when they were full of self-doubt etc. could have done with some serious trimming back. I think we are in the territory of the old thing told to freshers etc. 'everyone is just as nervous as you'. To which I can only say hmm.

Nonetheless, it is interesting because of lots of incidental details. I didn't know / had forgotten / hadn't absorbed that the play that Fry famously did a bunk from was written by Simon Raven. Also, of course, it is amusing to be reminded that Hugh Laurie was in the Cambridge crew in the Boat Race. I had known this but I think it is the sort of fact that is too wacky to keep in ones mind for long.

It is weird that I don't at all remember Alfresco, their first TV show, on ITV. Maybe I was having too much of a life to be watching TV at the time, but I don't think I knew about it at all.

The Cambridge described seems a world away from the Oxford of what would only be 6 years later, certainly the description of the sets of rooms seemed much more opulent than anything I ever came across in Oxford, even in the richer colleges. Obviously there may be a degree of hyperbole but his description of Cambridge in the 70s sounds more like descriptions of Oxford in the 50s. To some extent I guess that the big sea-change was the colleges on the whole going mixed, and he was one side of that and I was the other.

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