Friday, February 13, 2009

The Whimsy of Wodehouse

Volume 11, Issue 4: Verbatim

Quotations on Plum

Plum and Clever Chappies

But anyone who considers a Wodehouse inferior and thinks that he may never read anything other than Marlowe, Goethe, or Vestdijk does not know how to distinguish. The distinction between good and bad does not lie between what is heavier and more serious and what is lighter, but runs right through the genres. There are good and bad books which must be regarded as high literature, and there are also good and bad books which are devoted to the lighter muse.

H.R. Rookmaker

Stilton, who was now a pretty vermilion, came partially out of the ether, uttering odd, strangled noises like a man with no roof to his mouth trying to recite ‘Gunga Din’.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

She gave a sort of despairing gesture, like a vicar’s daughter who has discovered Erastianism in the village.

Laughing Gas

The Modern Library asked its board of advisors to pick the hundred greatest English-language novels of the twentieth century. We define the assignment differently. P. G. Wodehouse wrote 96 novels; what are the other 4?

National Review

“In the inspired words of Pliny the Younger—”

Bill held up a hand. “Right ho, Jeeves.”

“Very good, m’lord.”

“I’m not interested in Pliny the Younger.”

“No m’lord.”

“As far as I’m concerned, you may take Pliny the Younger and put him where the monkey put the nuts.”

The Return of Jeeves it her opinion that against a woman with a brain like that, Ginger hadn’t the meager chance of a toupee in a high wind.

Jeeves and the Tie that Binds

To inhabit the same world as Mr. Wodehouse is a high privilege; to inhabit the same volume, even as a doorkeeper, is perilous.

Ogden Nash

“Well there it is,” I said, and went into the silence. And as he, too, seemed disinclined for chit-chat, we stood for some moments like a couple of Trappist monks who have run into each other by chance at the dog races.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

In repose, it has a sort of meditative expression, as if she were a pure white soul thinking beautiful thoughts, and, when animated, so dashed animated that it boosts the morale to just look at her. Her eyes are a kind of browny-hazel and her hair rather along the same lines. The general effect is of an angel who eats a lot of yeast.

The Mating Season

The lunches of fifty-seven years had caused his chest to slip down into the mezzanine floor.

Chester Forgets Himself

He trusted neither of them as far as he could spit, and he was a poor spitter, lacking both distance and control.

Money in the Bank

Golf . . . is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play the ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.

The Clicking of Cuthbert

The Right Hon. was a tubby little chap who looked as if he had been poured into his clothes and forgotten to say ‘when!’

Very Good, Jeeves

I don’t think I have ever seen a Silver Band so nonplussed. It was as though a bevy of expectant wolves had overtaken a sleigh and found no Russian peasant on board.

Uncle Dynamite

For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? Nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.

Deuteronomy 3:11

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Claire said...

Of those, Fraser uses the one about Trappist monks the most. I favor the one about the poor spitter who lacks both distance and control.

Prem Rao said...

As a big fan of Wodehouse, I really enjoyed reading your blog post.

Wodehousian Fun