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My image of heaven is a place where there is an infinite number of P.G. Wodehouse books to read.
On and off I’ve wanted to write some sort of appreciation of P.G. Wodehouse. But what is there left to say. So many gifted writers from Evelyn Waugh to Christopher Hitchens have testified to the beauty and humor of his novels and short stories.
Wodehouse’s blend of one of the 20th centuries greatest English prose styles and trivial subject matter is meaningless to those without the ear and sympathy to appreciate it. And self-evident to the rest of us.
Sometimes that I’ve happily read and reread stories about gold might be the easiest example of how much I enjoy him.
Yesterday copies of The Praefect’s Uncle and The White Feather arrived. That I’d buy novels about English schoolboys whose moral economy hinges on being good at games is as clear a testament in my pleasure in Wodehouse as I can imagine.
Oddly the first several times I tried reading him I gave up quickly. Those were all Jeeves and Bertie novels. (Needless to say I enjoy them all hugely now.)
It was a paperback reissue of Leave It To Psmith that finally converted me. To this day it remains my favorite Wodehouse novel. His prose was never better. And retrospective awareness makes me more appreciative of Psmith appearing at Blandings Castle. Nor can I imagine anything funnier than the efficient Baxter tossing flower pots into Lord Emsworth’s bedroom.