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    It's almost impossible to write funny about humor, and anyone who writes seriously about it is
    doomed to come off as a fuddy duddy. E.B. White, a funny writer himself, once said that analyzing
    humor is like dissecting a frog, in that the thing tends to die in the process and the results will be
    interesting only to the purely scientific mind.
        -Andrew Ferguson, Divine Comedy : P.G. Wodehouse's perfect pitch

Two things the critics generally appear to agree on are that : (1) P. G. Wodehouse is one of the funniest writers in the English language; and, (2)  it's almost impossible to explain why.   Among the various authorities cited for the difficulty in analyzing humor are Evelyn Waugh and Sigmund Freud, themselves authors of hilarious fictions.  Suffice it to say, and I mean this in the very best sense, the enjoyments of the Jeeves and Wooster stories are much the same as those of the great TV sitcoms.  Wodehouse created these two great comic characters, surrounded them in each story with oddballs, plunked them all down in trying situations, and then had the inimitable Jeeves extract Bertie and his upper-class nitwit friends from their difficulties through various stratagems and diversions.  Though Andrew Ferguson and others deny that there is any deeper meaning or political content to the stories, it is at least notable that the finest young gentlemen in all of England are hopelessly overmatched by life unless Jeeves steps in to save them.  The resulting stories have a certain sameness to them--of course, just try watching ten episodes of Cheers in a row and see if it's still fresh and amusing in hour five--but read in moderation they are immensely enjoyable and their very familiarity becomes quite comforting.


Grade: (A+)


See also:

P. G. Wodehouse Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: P. G. Wodehouse
    -ESSAY: P.G. Wodehouse’s literary canon: His work’s modernity, making such innovative use of the main literary traditions of the West, would have been unimaginable in the nineteenth century (Charles Moore, December 31, 2023, Spectator)
    -ESSAY: PG Wodehouse scoffed at politics: In his world, comedy dissolved the bounds of class (NIKHIL KRISHNAN, 12/20/23, Unherd) The Whole Jolly Lot: In P.G. Wodehouse's World, Things Are Tiptop And Topsy-Turvy. Just Ask His Biographer. (Bob Thompson, January 11, 2005, Washington Post)

Book-related and General Links:
-Sir P(elham) G(renville) Wodehouse (1881-1975)  (kirjasto)
    -ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA : "wodehouse, p.g."
    -The PG Wodehouse Society (UK)
    -Wodehouse Webring
    -PG Wodehouse Appreciation Page
    -Into the Wodehouse: PG Wodehouse Excerpts
    -ESSAY : Writer blacklisted for wartime blunder: Wilson insisted on burying the hatchet and knighting PG Wodehouse shortly before his death (John Ezard, August 16, 2002, The Guardian)
    -ESSAY : What ho, Adolf : What is the truth about P.G. Wodehouse's relationship with the Nazis?
(Robert McCrum,  November 18, 2001, The Observer)
    -ESSAY : Found: the novel Wodehouse wrote twice : 'New' book reveals how the author became a master of recycling (Robert McCrum, September 16, 2001, The Observer)
    -ESSAY : In Defence of P. G. Wodehouse (George Orwell)
    -ESSAY : Jeeves Unmasked. Finally. Maybe. (Charles Rembar, NY Times)
    -ESSAY : Jeeves and the Great White Way (Tony Hendra , NY Times)
    -ESSAY : Personal Best : Right Ho, Jeeves by PG Wodehouse (John Le Carre, Salon)
    -ESSAY : Divine Comedy : P.G. Wodehouse's perfect pitch.(Andrew Ferguson, Weekly Standard)
    -ESSAY : The genius of Wodehouse (Roger Kimball, New Criterion)
    -ESSAY : A shot of the needful : In which the P.G. Wodehouse newsgroup and its online version of  Blandings Castle teaches me to play again. (Emily Jenkins, Salon)
    -REVIEW: of THE EVERYMAN WODEHOUSE: SELECTED VOLUMES By P.G. Wodehouse (Philip Hensher, The Spectator)
    -REVIEW : of YOURS, PLUM The Letters of P. G. Wodehouse. Edited by Frances Donaldson (Martin Kirby, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of P.G.WODEHOUSE A Centenary Celebration 1881-1981. Edited by James H. Heineman and Donald R. Bensen (Charles McGrath, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW : of From Wodehouse to Wittgenstein: Essays by  Anthony Quinton  (Nicholas Mosley, booksonline uk)

    -Jeeves and Wooster Episode Guide