The ‘millennials’ generation onwards reading books for leisure and entertainment is an anachronism. Reading has gone digital – its beyond Kindle now. So reading is crisper and ‘byte-sized’ as attention spans dwindle. It involves a lot of visuals that make it easy to digest. No one readily talks about reading literature and many wonder how a few Wodehouse novels could keep us regaled for ages and we read them many times over.
But the Wodehouse legacy is still safe – it just the way it was when I was young. Your appetite needs to be whetted once – then you can never quite go far from the wise world of Jeeves serving his bumbling and good-hearted master, Bertie Wooster.
The lazy and indolent life led by Bertie Wooster – the man born with a silver spoon – and the space he occupied in the British aristocracy is no longer relevant today. Indeed parts of it was already decaying when Wodehouse wrote some of his stories wherein the landed gentry was often short of hard cash and would look towards striking fruitful alliances with the gals from across the Atlantic who still mooned about being regarded royalty.
But Wooster and Jeeves tales were never about that. The classic situation was Wooster getting stuck in some jam – either voluntarily or through his silly machinations to help his aunts or friends. Often the threat of capitulation to ‘steely-hearted’ dames and matrimony would loom large. And then it would be up to the ingenuity of Jeeves to rescue Bertie and smoothen the ruffled feathers. Wodehouse was good at plotting and Jeeves would quite often do a real ‘Houdini’ act to snap up victory from the jaws of defeat, often undermining Bertie’s position to a mockery and giving credence to deprecatory name -calling such as being a gaby, guffin and nincompoop.
My Wodehouse chronicles on Wooster and Jeeves include the following reviews so far –
|#||Title||My Review Link|
|1||The world of Jeeves||http://wp.me/p44iYk-1pI|
|2||Jeeves in the Offing||http://wp.me/p44iYk-1qy|
|3||The Inimitable Jeeves||http://wp.me/p44iYk-1qE|
|4||Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves||http://wp.me/p44iYk-1r1|
|5||Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit||http://wp.me/p44iYk-1rp|
|6||Ring For Jeeves||http://wp.me/p44iYk-1rJ|
|7||Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen||http://wp.me/p44iYk-1rU|
|8||Wodehouse Chronicles feat. Wooster and Jeeves||http://wp.me/p44iYk-1U6|
So let us lovingly recall Evelyn Waugh’s golden words about how posterity would view the immensely popular but topical comedy portrayed in these stories. “Mr Wodehouse’s idyllic world can never stale. He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in.”