I'll come up with something in a minute.

I wonder about Jeeves

Do you suppose P.G. Wodehouse was trying to generate contempt for the English Upper Classes, or does that just sort of happen as a result of reading his books?

Do these books read differently in England than they do in America? Because I get the distinct impression that the Revolution didn’t happen a single day too soon.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the books, but I do rather wonder if Wodehouse didn’t want to sort of burn it all down. Particularly in The Inimitable Jeeves, I sort of think the world could have greatly improved by shipping everyone in the book save for Bertie and Jeeves to a Martian Colony. I’ve read up on him a little, but I can’t see that any extra bitterness or distaste (beyond what I’m inferring) for the English was built up after he left England. Maybe he was looking fondly back at some of the silly people he’d known and didn’t think that the books could cause a contemptuous feeling at all, and these are just ideas I’m getting from reading them.

The books do one oddly interesting thing, they give a totally different slant to the Jazz Age, as the only books I’ve read prior to these are American and often written well after the fact. The Great Gatsby could put a person off trying to learn more about that time forever, but some books aren’t so down in the mouth. Strange that Generation X isn’t more into the Jazz Age, since I would judge that the 90s were a second Jazz Age in America*. Interestingly enough, while many of us were living a version of the American Dream® we were getting into Hard Boiled books and Film Noir, which tend towards the cranky side.

The view of the Jazz Age in America has always been a bit dourer than it seems to be in England. Mayhaps England wasn’t as hard hit by economic trends as America was at that time and they didn’t view those liberal years with conservative scorn like we did over here. Probably more needs to be said about this, but it extends to a tangent I’m not prepared to explore at the moment.

The point is, that while the books are amusing, I want to drown Bingo Little in a bath tub.

*No, I’m not going to justify that statement right now, remind me later and I’ll write 3 pages on it.

June 18, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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