Bhrigu's question

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Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Why India still loves Wodehouse

Article in The Times, UK.
Wodehouse never wrote about India, but sells better on the subcontinent than in Britain, with pirated copies in common circulation. He is one of the most heavily requested authors at the British Library in Delhi and there are clubs and internet chatrooms devoted to him.


Blogger Ruchira Paul said...

This is so interesting. Perhaps also a great blogging idea. I confess to being a Wodehouse fan but not for any of the reasons described in the article... the nostalgia for the Raj, the butler, the Gymkhana old boy culture etc. I have often wondered what it is that attracts me to P.G. The linguistic callisthenics for sure. And something more. Perhaps what Orwell said. Also, there is something comforting about a prodigious literary output with no sex, no serious love and very little existential angst.

I tried to introduce my own children (who grew up in the US)and their friends to Wodehouse. My daughter showed some curiosity but mostly the reaction was cool and puzzled. My book club friends in Houston have so far resisted my attempts to introduce Wodehouse into our reading list. I have given up. Early in my (still fledgling) blogging days, I wrote a piece about reading P.G. Wodehouse and got a positive response from one reader who e-mailed me later to say he was hooked.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Charu said...

this is so true... as in other parts of the world, Plum seems to be getting seen more and more as irrelevant, Indians worship him - me too :)
Shashi Tharoor has a delightful essay on this in Bookless in Baghdad - here is an old article from him in the Hindu on Wodehousian magic...

8:41 AM  
Blogger Suhail said...

OT: I sent you an email sometime back. Looking fwd for your reply.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Quizman said...

ruchira: looking forward to your piece. I do think that apart from linguistic calisthenics, there is a "age of innocence" feel to it, quite remarkable since the age was anything but innocent. Heck, the brown shirts feature in the books.

Cahru: :-) I will put Tharoor's book in my reading list. I had been rather disappointed with the reviewers on amazon. I had avoided reading the book based on their remarks.

suhail: I will.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

never liked pgw, never will. always wondered what the fascination was. oh well ...

- s.b.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Sourav Sengupta said...

I personally consider Wodehouse the greatest english writer of all time, but his popularity is gradually declining in India also. What with the advent of Dan Brown and Chetan Bhagat, there are people who stare blankly at the mention of Wodehouse's name. I don't think there ever will be another writer who can reach Wodehouse's calibre with even a barge pole (:P). It is indeed sad that even today, he remains under-rated as just 'a great comic writer', when his work really transcends the realm of mere comedy into the larger realm of classic literature. Feel free to mail me with comments.

3:30 AM  

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