one of my most persistent memories, brief as static but with all of nostalgia's pleasantness, is of a movie called 'wilde'. i sat on the floor of the living room of the london flat where i had spent about a dozen summers, half of which followed the formula of watching videos rented from the blockbuster downstairs while eating a small cup of haagen-dazs vanilla ice cream, purchased there. i sat on the blue carpet and watched the dramatised biography of a man about whom i knew nothing except his name. but that name would change my perception of the world, as the things he did with language were, to me, unimaginable. i never knew one was allowed to play, to manipulate, to wit, as he did. to be sure, my own skill wanes in comparison, but what i know now, i owe in some great degree to oscar wilde, and also in some great degree to the man who played him in that film, mr stephen fry. i believe it was the first time i'd heard of him, but he became then inextricably linked with mr wilde, and they were thenceforth fixtures of my fascination with language, a permanent benchmark, a zenith towards which to strive. many years passed after that initial initiation, and i began to investigate wilde's work, for the first time, and my mind's barriers were shattered, one more time. some more years passed, and i investigated mr fry again. his wit is unparalleled, his insight is remarkable, and his lexical dexterity is so magnificent that it is tearfully enviable.
wonderful and insightful: "america's place in the world"
brilliant and hilarious: the subject of language, on a bit of fry and laurie.
nice. fry on wilde: http://www.stephenfry.com/media/video/102/trailer--oscar-wilde-s-short-stories