Sunday, February 17, 2013

PG Wodehouse - The alchemist of the written word

PG Wodehouse - an alchemist of the written word

My panacea for melancholy has ,and will always be, a few pages of a Wodehouse novel. I have always wondered what makes his books so enchanting and uplifting each time I read it. The answer is simple. Its the sheer playfulness of his writing and a limpid grace and lightness to his stories that injects it with its uniquely effervescent brilliance.

None can read a Wodehouse novel with a grim face. The utterly farcical plots, blatantly preposterous characterizations, outrageously comical dialogues and a careless irreverence to blinkering social etiquette - transports us to a world that is always refreshingly fresh and invigorating. One could almost visualize a smirky smile creep on to Wodehouse's face: as he would have typed those ninety odd novels during his lifetime - with a pipe in his mouth and a wink in his eye.

It is a tribute to the man and his work that even after forty years , his books continue to enthrall young readers. His books are still read only for the sheer joy of the written word ;and that all there is to it. Wodehouse doesn't attempt to educate or enlighten, but merely takes the reader on a journey of words with a few deft strokes of his pen with no goals or intent in sight. Its a journey that never ends; because it never began.

The Sally's, the Bertie Wooster's, The Jeeves, The Psmith's - and all the rest of them imperceptibly grow on us. With each book, the characters becoming more and more alive within us. Even their worst sorrows and trepidation's, seem joyful and laughable to us, after some time. Perhaps, Somewhere, in the deep recesses of our minds , we wish that life was carefree, fluid and as well meaning as Wodehouse portrays them to be.

A year ago, I bought the complete works of PG Wodehouse for my Kindle reader at ninety nine cents. Almost all his collected works are in it. God knows, how many times I would have visited his works; or revisited them. Each time, it has left me rejuvenated and healed me. To me a Wodehouse novel is a companion who regularly reminds me that life is not as serious or gloomy as we take it to be. His words penetrate into me like a ray of morning light that pierces through a brooding mist ; to enliven my soul .

I agree with Erma Bombeck (an erstwhile American humorist and suburban housewife) when she says " There is a thin line between that separates laughter from pain,comedy and tragedy, pain from hurt". I am sure Wodehouse would have nodded in approval..........................

No comments: