Thursday, June 23, 2005

"Jeeves Exerts the Old Cerebellum" by P. G. Wodehouse

Mauve shirts. The Sporting Times. A place called Pounceby Gardens. Another place, a tea-and-bun shop near the Ritz. Valets, horse-racing, and and an attack of the gout. Obviously, we're in Bertie and Jeeves territory. How utterly British of us. Right-o, old chap, carry on. Read by Timothy Wagner.

Even today Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse epitomizes certain conceptions of upper-class England in the 1920s, though he continued building his reputation for several decades after that. The well-known humorist also wrote several other "story cycles" and innumerable novels, plays, lyrics, and "stand-alone" short stories. We like what the "P. G. Wodehouse Appreciation Page" has to say about the great satirist: "Throughout his stories, Wodehouse presents a view of the world which differs from -- his fans would say, improves upon -- the focus most people have. For a variety of reasons, pigs, newts, and statues of the Infant Samuel at Prayer play significant roles in the Wodehousian view, while such things as death, taxes, and work are crowded towards the O. P. wings."

Timothy Wagner is an actor, artist, and academician who will soon be teaching in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany. Perhaps not unlike Bertie Wooster, he is a great enthusiast of the theater, a discerning balletomane, and an ardent bibliophile who also follows the opera world and the torrid, tragic lives of divas both young and dead. Alas, he is merely American, a native of Maryland--but we'll forgive him that. After all, none of us is British here!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The story is unfinished, why? If I recall the story the scheme backfires - something that normally didn't happen to Jeeves.