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Wodehouse got me in books again

Since getting into Midsummer Mischief, the P.G. Wodehouse-themed game that lisefrac is running at Festival, I decided to finally try reading some of that famed canon. I’m incredibly pleased that I did. I started with Something New, (or Something Fresh as it is usually referred to today) the first novel of the Blandings Castle Wodehouse wrote, and I thought it was funny and clever. Moreover, I am somewhat embarrassed to confess that it is the first new book I have read in probably a year.

My focus issues, which I’ve been struggling with for several years now, have taken the form of an inability to concentrate on a single thing for extended periods of time. While I read constantly, it’s lately taken the form of short things like articles, blog posts, and essays, with the play script being the longest continuous form of literature I’ve been able to absorb. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to return to reading books, which I was a voracious consumer of for most of my life; it’s only been in the last few years I’ve not had the concentration for them. Something New marks the first I’ve really been able to take on in ages, and now I’m most of the way through Wodehouse’s My Man Jeeves. Maybe this is finally my return. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Sherlock Holmes on audiobook, but that doesn’t count because I’ve read it all a million times before already.

Incidentally, both series include examples of men putting their feet up on mantlepieces. Are British traditional mantlepieces very different from what I’m picturing, or is that a particularly odd image? I mean, wouldn't their heels be up ridiculously high? Sounds super uncomfortable.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 7th, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
Perhaps in the era before recliners and central heat and electric lighting it was a good way to almost literally kick back, relax, enjoy the warmth and the light...? It reminds me of one of my favorite comics, http://wondermark.com/479/
Apr. 7th, 2014 06:34 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed Something Fresh, and that it's helped you to rediscover reading long-form stuff! I too have the same problem, but I find it easy to tear through a Wodehouse novel. I think it helps that they're so short--closer to the 50k word low end for a novel.

Also the language is absolutely amazing, the wit so pithy! Plum knew his way around a sentence, that's for sure.
Apr. 7th, 2014 10:42 pm (UTC)
I really did, thanks so much for recommending it! I also love the pithy wit of how he writes, it's something I'd love to emulate the style of someday. :-)
Apr. 8th, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC)
Hmm. The OED suggests that "mantelpiece" refers to the entire structure around the fireplace, not necessarily just the top shelf. So I would *guess* that they are referring to the stone shelf that often sticks out from underneath the fireplace, which seems like a logical place to put your feet...
Apr. 8th, 2014 08:13 pm (UTC)
Ahhhhh, I see. That makes enormously more sense!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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