Visit to discover Indian blogs Head in Clouds, Feet on Ground

Friday, 28 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge - 4-27-2016 - Letter W

W for Wodehouse

Warning: This is going to be a gushy article!

As a child, growing up on a generous dose of Enid Blyton, I used to wish I lived in that world. A world filled with children who had the most wonderful adventures, went to the most exciting schools and had the most “scrumplicious” food (I have since learnt that steak and kidney pie tastes horrible!)

Then I discovered P.G. Wodehouse and I was smitten, and I am to this day. Who wouldn’t want to live in a world populated by the affable but bumbling Bertie Wooster and the omnipotent and omnipresent Jeeves? Or the complete madhouse that is Blandings Castle (which has “Imposters like other houses have mice”!) Don’t even get me started on the eccentric characters. There is no single definition of eccentricity, if the characters who people Wodehouse’s world are anything to go by. Those who come to mind, off the top of the head are:

Gussie Finknottle: Keeps newts, is a teetotaller and is very shy around girls.  So if his orange juice is laced with alcohol, the results are bound to be mindboggling.

Lord Emsworth: Wants to be left alone, draped over the rails of his pigsty, which houses the three- time winner of the Fat Pigs contest, Empress of Blandings. The absentminded peer is known to swallow his collar stud and replace it with a paper clip.

Anatole: Temperamental French chef who speaks in American slang with a French accent.

Roberta Wickham: Her idea of fun is to egg her suitors on to take up perilous and downright idiotic missions.

Constance: Emsworth’s sister, who rules the house with an iron hand and can freeze anybody with a glance.

Aunt Agatha: Wooster’s Aunt, whom Bertie Wooster freely suspects of chewing on glass bottles and turning into a Vampire at any given time.

Aunt Dahlia: She is a good sort; employer of Anatole, who doesn’t mind any sort of goings on as long as she gets a good laugh. Always setting Bertie hair-raising tasks to do.

A plethora of eccentrics!

Then there are characters like Mr. Mulliner who tells stories about his numerous nephews and nieces at the local pub. All the other patrons of the pub are only known by the drinks they order. There is Ukridge who never tires of coming up with money making schemes but is always getting into scrapes.
There are so many stand-alone novels, the heroines of which are pretty and plucky. The heroes are strong yet vulnerable. The villains appear to win for a while, but there is nothing that a good biff with a painting (so that the canvas tears over the head) can’t cure. Another effective method to render anyone helpless is to simply steal all his clothes!
Wodehouse runs through the entire gamut of situational comedy with practiced ease.
The Americans and the British manage to tolerate each other with a mixture of amusement and disdain. All is always well in this best of all possible worlds.
If I ever do a PH.D, it will be on Wodehouse.

No comments:

Post a Comment