Tag Archives: Jeeves

Obsessive reading


free_3369118

I wish I’d saved the blog post. I should have saved the blog post. But I didn’t. So this blog post is a bit hazy on the exact details. Dear blogger: whoever/wherever you are, thanks for inspiring me, and my apologies for not  naming you and your blog, as my source.

These apologies are the preamble to my reaction about an obsessive reader.  The blogger cheerfully told his readers that he had read the play Hamlet  and one of P G Wodehouse’s  Jeeves  novels (and there are fourteen of them, so I’m excused on fudging the exact title) OVER 100 TIMES.  And this, mark you, over a period of a few years, when he was a student. It sounded as if the blogger was in his mid-20s’. Apparently he was studying Hamlet  for academic reasons, but Jeeves?  Perhaps after all the dramatic Scandinavian crime and gloom he needed a bit of a respite? What could be a better tonic that P G Wodehouse’s imperturbable, unflappable butler, the immortal Jeeves? I’m a Jeeves fan myself, so I can understand his affection for the man.

But the point is: imagine reading the same work – makes no maybe what it is: a play, a novel,  an essay – over one hundred times! I’m sure we all have a much-loved book that we’ve read, and re-read many times.  For example, I have re-read one of my all-time favourites, The Last Samurai  by Helen de Witt at least four or five times. It’s a wonderful story, and a great read.  But one hundred times?  No.

The blogger revealed that re-reading Hamlet  so frequently made him aware of  the language, the subtleties, the nuances; the phrase ‘close reading’ which is much in vogue, covers this approach.  I don’t know that the Jeeves novels offer the same depth. PG was a master of the neat phrase, the bon mot, dialogue that required no frills or trimmings to drive the story forward and make his characters immortal. I wish I could write dialogue the way PG did! Mind you, Wodehouse lived into his early 90s and was a prolific writer, almost to the end, so there’s hope yet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._G._Wodehouse

His output was prodigious. Encyclopaedia Brittanica tells us:  He wrote more than 90 books and more than 20 film scripts and collaborated on more than 30 plays and musical comedies.

I wonder if any of my readers have obsessively read one of their favourites over and over again? If so: do tell!

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/PG-Wodehouse-Jeevesbooks-in-order/lm/R1Z4EX9G0UR446

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under HUMOUR, READING, WRITING

AFK & A THOROUGHLY PEEVED CHOCOLAT


why?

why? (Photo credit: currawongwhisper42)

 

Chocolat isn’t talking to me, ever since I wheeled my big green suitcase through from the garage.  She watched me balefully while I packed books, clothes, shoes, toiletries, gifts. Halfway through the process she stalked away, angrily swishing her tail. She knows from  bitter past experience that Suitcase = Cattery.

I’ve tried to ease the pain by offering her something light-hearted to read in my absence, like  P G Wodehouse’s Jeeves  novels – I always find Bertie Wooster very entertaining, and comfort myself that I don’t have fearsome Aunts to contend with.

Since that suggestion sank like a lead balloon, I tried again: what about Terry Pratchett and his wonderful Discworld novels I said?  Chocolat glared at me, swiped at my ankles with an angry claw and buzzed off for the rest of the day. Clearly nothing will suit Madam in her current bad mood, so she’ll just have to endure the durance vile, and for entertainment she can  shout loud abuse at the resident Staffies as they race around the lawn in front of the cattery runs.

So, dear readers, I shall be AFK as my friend Dr Sheldon Cooper would say – you don’t know Dr Cooper? The insanely picky genius scientist from TV’s Big Bang Theory?   Ag shame, as we say in South Africa. AFK = Absent From Keyboard.  I’ll be back – meanwhile: stay safe, stay happy and keep on reading!

13 Comments

Filed under HUMOUR