It so happens that every once in a blue moon, one happens across a work of art bursting at the seams with such pure genius that one is forced, nay, one cannot help but sing it’s praises and such. One is pleasantly surprised. One falls in love. One dives in headfirst. And then one realises, one must have more! But how on earth does one have more of something whose boundaries have been restricted by the sheer power that is the universe?
Before you wonder what I’m raving about, I must make clear that this article aims at singing the whats-it’s of Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse. I do not come to bury Wodehouse, but I certainly do come to praise him, and so, naturally, one tries ones best to write like the old blighter. This man, God bless his soul, was responsible for producing some of the funniest books to have ever had eyes laid upon their chapters. In order to fill pages with such farce as to cause a tickling of the ribs and splitting of the sides as would not be considered civil in company, one must possess a certainly large amount of talent and of course, a most keen sense of humour. One must have a positively dashing old lemon to come up with tales involving the events that took place at Blandings castle, the escapades of Bertie Wooster and his man, Jeeves, the misadventures of Psmith(with a silent ‘P’) and the vignettes of a certain Mr. Mulliner.
One can almost picture Sir Wodehouse in his study, chuckling away to his devious self while he pens down the helplessness of poor Bertie as aunt after aunt bears down on him, handing him the responsibility of performing one devilish task or another. One is delighted. One is awed. One lets loose a mighty guffaw at the mention of the Empress of Blandings and Lord Emsworth’s affections towards her, which were never quite understood nor appreciated by Lady Constance. The frowning upon of matrimonial alliances of various nieces and nephews by Aunt Connie leading to broken hearts littered all over the lush lawns and grounds of Blandings castle, as at Brinkley Court, under the watchful yet sporting eye of Aunt Dahlia.The infallible remedies up Jeeves’ inimitable sleeves, with Bertie annoying all and sundry as always. And how could one forget Freddie Threepwood with his eccentric ways and the tendency to marry exotic dancers?
Ah, the world of Wodehouse has many admirers and with good reason. Apart from the books, there also happen to be a few screen adaptations of the stories, most of them pretty decent. Out of them all, the one I’d most definitely recommend to any Wodehouse fan is Jeeves and Wooster. An almost perfect book to screen adaptation of the escapades of Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, this TV Series is beautifully made, with the most brilliant casting including Hugh Laurie(our very own House M.D.) as Wooster and the talented and popular Stephen Fry as Jeeves. The other characters including the various Aunts, Agatha, Dalhia et al and Bertie’s eccentric friends, be it Tuppy Glossop or Augustus Fink-Nottle, are also cast exactly as you would have pictured them in your minds eye. If you happen to possess a certain thirst for more Wodehouse that must be quenched, I insist you give it a try. I would go so far as to believe that you would develop the same love for this quaint little show as I have.
As for the stories, nothing can compare to their finesse and capacity to cause one to chuckle at the oddest hour. There is a particular exchange between Bertie Wooster and Jeeves that I have never quite forgotten, recalling it as that which made me understand the true nature of stiff British humour:
‘There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, “Do trousers matter?”’
‘The mood will pass, sir.’”