Wednesday, September 17, 2008

that is not what I meant, at all

came across some videos of Douglas Adams on YouTube, including one in which Stephen Fry talks about his Wodehousian humour, then reads out this as an example:

The same sun later broke in through the upper windows of a house in North London, struck the peacefuly sleeping figure of a man.
The room in which he slept was large and bedraggled and did not much benefit from the sudden intrusion of light.
The sun crept slowly across the bedclothes as if nervous of what it might find amongst them, slunk down the side of the bed, moved in a rather startled way across some objects it encountered on the floor, toyed nervously with a couple of motes of dust, lit briefly on a stuffed fruitbat hanging in a corner, and fled.

which to this reader had more of a Prufrockian turn...

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night
Curled once about the house, and fell sleep

(very funny videos, as you might expect; you can see Douglas Adams with Richard Dawkins here)


Mary said...

Is "that is not what I meant, at all" a reference to "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?

Helen DeWitt said...


Mary said...

I completely missed the "which to this reader had more of a Prufrockian turn..." part. Ha, guess I was spacey, sorry.

Anonymous said...

...gotta love Douglas Adams...
*GeOrGiA ^.~*