Saturday, March 06, 2010

Wodehouse: The Romance Novelist?

Everyone knows that P. G. Wodehouse is everyone's favourite author, right? At least everyone clever or important or human enough. (All you Danielle Steele fans, shame on you and you don't even count...)
Let me take a moment to swoon over the greatness of this man... Sir Plum, you have made my life so bloody enjoyable, yes you have. Here's the extent of my adoration: I almost remember the Wodehouse bio blurb (printed at the beginning of all his books) by heart.
Anyway. That's not the point.
The point is, while everyone goes on and on about Wodehouse's comic brilliance, his amazing use of the ridiculous, his all-is-well-that-we-know-will-eventually-end-well approach to writing (and rightly so), I have never really read anything substantial written about his prowess as a romance writer. A writer of awesome, simple, light-hearted and fun love stories, interwoven beautifully with his nonsense plots.
Who that has read Wodehouse cannot love the breezy, hilarious and cute-rom-com nature of his stories? There's always a likeable good-as-gold chappie, there's always a spirited, tender, fiesty ladybird, and there's' always always unbridled hilarity and whattey! dialogues between the two. Eventually, just when we, the readers, are about to fall off our chairs in anticipation of the big 'moment', the hero will clasp the heroine in an awesomely awesome embrace and say something like, "My mate!"
Hyuk hyuk.I love it. I wish love stories were like that in real life. I wish men were funny and outrageous like Psmith or Joe Vanringham. (The latter being the adorable hero from my latest Wodehouse read, 'Summer Moonshine'.)

Wodehouse's sense of a comfortable, pally love is so perfect. The jokes never stop, the ribbing and teasing are delicious, the situations are ROFL, the weather is always lovely- except when hero/heroine are love sick or depressed.

Sigh... As if real life weren't terrible enough, Sir Plummie has raised the bar on 'romance' for me. Nothing will ever quite match up. *gloom*

PS: Must read for Plummie fans: Wodehouse: A Life, by Robert McCrum


Pfahad (The P is silent, if you must know) said...

Hallo old thing. You have, perhaps, not heard of a very delectable saying. Its echo reverberates across the town, "No bar is too high".

You've probably heard of a sporting brand's motto, which is essentially lifted from this grand old saying.

Think about it.

Fahad said...

While we're on this subject, why would anyone want to romance someone whose name sounds like portable dead meat?

If it is an animal instinct you're looking for, I know a delightful young man whose name in Arabic means a 'Cheetah'. By the by, and this is important, he can run 100 metres in 10 seconds.

Apoorv Gawde said...

Have you read his 'Man with two left feet'?

its full lou and all only.

Bhumika's Boudoir said...

Hell, I know just what you mean!
He's a superb romance writer, I've always thought so. That's why when real-world imperfect slobs who pass off as men wound me, I refrain from a Wodehouse till the wounds heal.

And Psimth. Yes. And Joe? Hahahaha, didn't you just love the irreverence?!

Coincidentally, Summer Moonshine was the last Wodehouse I read too. :)

longblackveil said...

@Good Gawde: Yes, I read 'Two Left Feet' years ago. Time for a repeat though. High time.
@Boo-dwah: Awesome possum! What shall we do now? We are to bear the brunt of comparing mere mortals, ridden with faults, to Wodehousian perfections. FAIL. :)

bollyviewer said...

P.G. and romance! :-) You do know that he was published by Mills&Boons in the early 1900s? OK, so M&B wasnt quite the romance factory back then, but still, it goes to show his romantic credentials... And if his heroes are to come to life, I am staking my claim to one Mr. PSmith. He shall be the one to find me the best umbrella in the club, when I shelter from rain. Of course, he's going to have to learn to sing Ek ajnabi haseena se! ;-)

Edward Ott said...

I love his books, they seem to be so rarely read here in the states.

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kinkminos said...

vah vot a vriter.

my first read was code of the woosters at age 11, and p.g. is still the funniest writer i've ever read.

my older kids grew up watching the fry/laurie tv series, but never developed a taste for the books. my youngest and i recently watched almost all 23 episodes in three or four marathon sessions. i am now reading the inimitable jeeves to her as bedtime story in the hope that she will herself start reading the master.

btw, i used to know evelyn waugh's "idyllic world will never stale" quote by heart (creeping decrepitude is eating away at my never brilliant memory).

Georg said...

Hi over there in distant Jammu,

What a surprise that PG Wodehouse is even appreciated and loved by someone that seems to live in so vastly different surroundings.

I mean if you ever tried to live through one of Bertie Wooster's love affairs you might be knifed to death by your parents or brothers.

As to books written about him, well, he was a comic genius in his writings but his life was probably not very extraordinary. No, that's not what I mean. He was a master of English language but by saying this, I am neither a genius, nor very funny.

Tinkety-tonk and toodle-oo