1. Have an Interesting Snippet to Share : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. If someone taught you via skype, what would you want to learn? Tell us here!
    Dismiss Notice

Wodehouse, Undistilled

Discussion in 'Interesting Shares' started by Cheeniya, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,460
    Likes Received:
    14,032
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    An article in The Hindu today (16.06.2019)
    I was reading a short story by P.G. Wodehouse on the train. These are the times when I’m possibly mistaken for a lunatic. My seat shudders with unconcealed mirth. I giggle, laugh and sometimes wipe away tears of laughter, while the world is going about the stern business of earning a living.

    He is one of my favourite authors, and after every few books that make me mope around the world pondering on the wretchedness and seriousness of life, I turn to a PGW book to remind myself that tomfoolery is a virtue to be celebrated. His turns of phrase, his romping joy, will suffice to set me straight.

    When I read his autobiography, Over Seventy , a few years ago, I could see that the septuagenarian viewed his own life pretty much the same way he came across in his writing: sunny and delightful. In his own words, he simply lacked the life required for a gripping autobiography because one needs some level of suffering to bung into the thing. “My father was plain as rice pudding and everyone in school understood me perfectly,” he wrote. So, it must have been particularly jarring to the man when he was treated as an untouchable in his own country.


    Wodehouse had his head in books and led a sheltered life. Whether it was Blandings Castle, or Jeeves rescuing his young master, his thoughts were almost always occupied with love and the stirrings of the idiotic. Known as ‘Plum’ to his friends, he had a villa in France. Plum and his wife were unfortunately there when the German troops stormed France, and he was taken prisoner at the beginning of the Second World War.

    The Germans released him after 42 weeks, when he was nearing 60, as they seldom kept foreign internees beyond the age of 60. Through an old Hollywood friend of his, they sought to use him to make humorous broadcasts about his internment, and he naively did so. He had a trusting nature devoid of malice of any kind, and was incapable of seeing political propaganda for what it was. Though he suffered immensely during his internment – he had lost around 60 pounds, and “looked like something the carrion crow had brought in”, he did not quite realise the extent of evil and genocide that was happening inside War-time Germany. He simply intended to let his readers know that he was alive and well.

    That back-fired, however, and the author went from beloved to detested in his native United Kingdom. People were looking for a scapegoat and he fit the bill. Sadly, he became his own Bertie Wooster but with no Jeeves to help.

    Some time after the Second World War ended, PGW was asked by a journalist whether he hated the Germans for what they put him through. To which the author supposedly replied, elegantly smoking his pipe, “I do not hate in the plural.”

    A truly astounding statement. It was this statement of ‘not hating in the plural’ that I sought out to find when I read the books: P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters and Wodehouse at War , but I could find no reference to the actual statement. What I found instead was a man who was not only possibly the world’s funniest author, but was also the most hardworking, shy, kind and gentle person, who magnanimously shared with the world the gift of his sunny mind.

    I read the text of all five of his broadcasts from Germany in their entirety, and to my equally naive mind there is nothing in there that could be seen as treason. It shows how war and malice can take any inane thing and wring it out of shape and proportion. What is real and what is fake when power is involved?

    He was finally knighted in January 1975. He died the following month, on February 14, 1975, aged 93.

    I am immensely grateful to the dear author, even if that means the ‘prim and proper’ crowd of the world lifts eyebrows and look away uncomfortably when I laugh. I cannot say it better than Stephen Fry does on the personal influence of P.G. Wodehouse: “He taught me something about good nature. It is enough to be benign, to be gentle, to be funny, to be kind.”
    - By Sowmya
     
    Loading...

  2. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    2,732
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    A delightful share.

    The lesson from Sowmya
    "... shows how war and malice can take any inane thing and wring it out of shape and proportion. What is real and what is fake when power is involved?"​
    A good one!
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  3. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    11,460
    Likes Received:
    14,032
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    @Amulet
    You have picked the very essence of Sowmya's writing!
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  4. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,180
    Likes Received:
    2,691
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    Dear Cheeniya sir,
    Last sentence sums up everything about PGW!!!!
    Simple, gentle humour.
    Syamala
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  5. SinghManisha

    SinghManisha Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    1,381
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Gender:
    Female
    My favorite author ! Thank you for sharing, Cheeniya Sir !
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  6. Bewitched24

    Bewitched24 Senior IL'ite

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Female
    I love P.G.Wodehouse.
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  7. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    3,425
    Likes Received:
    3,814
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Gender:
    Male
    I enjoyed your sharing of Ms sowmya's in the Hindu of SIR PGW.
    I ENJOYED reading his books during my graduation days 1961-64 mainly for its variety in humour. Some samples:
    And she's got brains enough for two, which is the exact quantity the girl who marries you will need.

    The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.

    Thanks and regards.
     
    Cheeniya likes this.

Share This Page