Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

India says yes to Wodehouse

P.G. Wodehouse is quite popular in India. Perhaps this is surprising to you, but not to me. Note some of the comments in the article on Indian society and humor. Also this from Orwell, in 1945: "Most of the people whom Wodehouse intends as sympathetic characters are parasites, and some of them are plain imbeciles, but very few of them could be described as immoral . . . Not only are there no dirty jokes, but there are hardly any compromising situations."

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I don’t know if you have ever spent the night in a summerhouse. If not, avoid making the experiment. On the subject of sleeping in summerhouses I will speak out fearlessly. As far as I have been able to ascertain, such a binge doesn’t present a single attractive feature. Apart from the inevitable discomfort in the fleshy parts, there’s the cold, and apart from the cold there’s the mental anguish. All the ghost stories you’ve ever read go flitting through the mind, particularly any you know where fellows are found next morning absolutely dead, without a mark on them but with such a look of horror and fear in their eyes that the search party draw in their breath a bit and gaze at each other as much as to say "What ho!" Things creak. You fancy you hear stealthy footsteps. You receive the impression that a goodish quota of skinny hands are reaching out for you in the darkness. And, as I say, the cold extremely severe and much discomfort in the fleshy parts. The whole consituting a pretty sticky experience and one to be avoided by the knowledgeable.

From Thank You, Jeeves! Chapter 17.

I am a Wodehouse fan, but Dvivedi is perhaps not familiar enough with Indian literature to comment upon it.

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