Posts tagged ‘wodehouse’

Blogging something

You have heard me speak of P.G. Wodehouse, the master of comedy and mirth, on more than one occasion. I’ve even been known [mostly by myself] to mention “gags” from the Bertie/Jeeves mix-up in my posts in a way that might infringe on copyright laws was the bird in question still alive. What I never took time to explain is just “why” I find the blighter funny. So I am going to do that now. I will explain or, rather, give an example in the form of a chapter from the latest book of his I’m reading, the same book that saw me gaffing at a MacDonald’s a few minutes before I gotta show my mug at my place of employment yesterday.

The “setup”, as Wodehouse usually terms it, is one of those unfortunate events where the not-so-bright Bertram Wooster seems to get himself tangled on more than one occasion [infact, if memory serves, out of the 17 books my ex-husband brought me bearing the name P.G.W., 15 were based on more or less this same “set up”]. The story bee-line follows almost the same pattern. To wit: an ex fiancée of the young master, whom he proposed marriage to because his “gentlemanly sensibilities” wouldn’t permit “not taking the wrap” when a girl “gets it in her fat-head that a bloke likes her”, and got out of marrying by the help of his sharp-as-a-whip man-servant/right-hand-man/Butler/Gentleman’s Gentleman Jeeves, would re-enter Bertie’s life. She would usually be engaged to another “bird” when the story begins, who is usually a guy Bertie knew in school or from the “Drones Club”, where his bachelor-ship usually lunches. The girl would think Bertie is still in love with her, making her boyfriend jealous, and Bertie somehow [mostly to aid a cousin or an aunt] would find himself “in the soup” again: with the girl giving the boyfriend his ring back and willing to be re-united in the bonds of holy-matrimony with our hero who would do anything to “dodge” the honor.

Such is the case in this little story, entitled: “Joy in the morning”, as well. The “frightful” Miss Florence Craye, who is an author by trade and makes men read a huge dossier that went by the name “Types of Ethical Theory” in an attempt to educate them, is an ex-sweetheart of Bertram Wooster’s, whom he got out of marrying in the nick of time. Since breaking up with him, she’s been engaged to a “guardian of the law” who goes by the name ‘Stilton’ Cheesewright, who naturally has the Othello tendency of turning green-eyed every time he beholds the said Wooster, absolutely convinced Bertram is out to snip his girlfriend from under his watchful eyes. Throw in a secret business deal that Bertie needs to have his lips sealed about, a no-good do-gooder called “Edwin”, and unfortunate coincidences not even God could orchestrate on his hay days, then you will get the picture of what always goes in Wodehouse’s comedies. Here is how the back cover of the book put the scenario nicely:

“Trapped in the rural hell-hole of Steeple Bumpleigh with his ex-fiancée, Florence Craye, her fire-breathing father; Lord Worplesdon, her frightful Boy-Scout brother, Edwin, and her beefy new betrothed, ‘Stilton’ Cheesewright, Bertie Wooster finds himself walking a diplomatic tightrope. With Florence threatening to ditch Stilton for Bertie, and Stilton threatening to trample on Bertie’s insides if she does, things look black until Jeeves arrives to save the day. One of Wodehouse’s most sparkling comedies, replete with an attendant cast of tyrannical aunts, demon children and literary fatheads.

Make sure you read it twice, or three times, to get the meaning [and jokes] of all the lines. His expressions, as you will soon discover, aren’t those of the average scribbler’s.

Enjoy. (more…)

April 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm 7 comments


The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

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"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

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