Stephen Fry Friday: His Musings on Life, Swearing, Shakespeare, Nanoscience & More

Stephen Fry is a man of many tal­ents. He’s a nov­el­ist, con­trib­u­tor to news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines, TV per­son­al­i­ty, come­di­an, pod­cast­er, lin­guist of sorts. And accord­ing to his Twit­ter pro­file, he’s also a “Lord of Dance, Prince of Swimwear & Blog­ger.” In short, Stephen Fry cov­ers a lot of ground, and, through­out the years, we’ve shown you Fry opin­ing on many sub­jects. But you can’t real­ly appre­ci­ate his intel­lec­tu­al range until you’ve seen his mus­ings placed next to one anoth­er. So we’re pro­claim­ing today “Stephen Fry Fri­day” and we’re pre­sent­ing our favorite Fry clips from years past. We start above with Fry’s take on “The Joys of Swear­ing” and the rest fol­lows:

The Strange New World of Nanoscience

What is nano? And how will nanoscience shape our future? It’s all explained in a snap­py 17 minute video —  NANO YOU — that Fry nar­rat­ed for Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty.

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 18 

It’s a peren­ni­al fan favorite — Fry reflect­ing on his life, all 55 years of it, and offer­ing up life lessons to young­sters. Truth be told, old­er folks will get some­thing out of this video too.

On Phi­los­o­phy and the Impor­tance of Unbe­lief

Get­ting into the nit­ty grit­ty of phi­los­o­phy, Fry gives us one more life les­son: If you assume there’s no after­life, you’ll like­ly have a fuller, more enrich­ing life.

A Kinet­ic Take on Lan­guage

For a brief time in 2008, Fry pro­duced a series of pod­casts – called “Pod­grams” – that drew on his writ­ings, speech­es and col­lec­tive thoughts. In one episode, he med­i­tat­ed on lan­guage — the Eng­lish lan­guage, his own lan­guage, Barthes, Chom­sky, and Pinker — and then Matthew Rogers took that med­i­ta­tion and ran with it, pro­duc­ing a “kinet­ic typog­ra­phy ani­ma­tion” that art­ful­ly illus­trates a six minute seg­ment of Fry’s longer talk.

Shake­speare’s Satir­i­cal Son­net 130, As Read By Stephen Fry

It’s not sur­pris­ing that some­one this immersed in lan­guage would deeply admire the Shake­speare­an tra­di­tion.…

Why Fry Loves Joyce’s Ulysses

And Joyce’s Ulysses too (which you can down­load as a fine free audio book here).

Stay tuned, we’ll have more Stephen Fry in the months and years to come.…

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