Sunday, October 22, 2006

Very good, sir.

Although most of the books I've read recently have been remarkably mediocre, I read a few books that were quite good. The best was The Mating Season, a book by P.G. Wodehouse. I'd been feeling a little gloomy, to match the weather, but this book lifted me right out of my slump. (Unfortunately, it also distracted me from my surroundings enough that I didn't pay attention to the uneven pavement while boarding the bus. And I turned my ankle and fell onto the stairs of the bus, resulting in some rather nasty cuts and bruises on both legs. But what care I for bruises when there is such a book.) For those who've watched the series, this book is the one where Bertie goes up to Deverill Hall as Gussie and Gussie ends up impersonating Bertie, and hilarity ensues.

Wodehouse books are full of wise observations on life. For instance, take this quote from Mike at Wrkykyn (a book which, incidentally, is nearly incomprehensible to anyone who isn't familiar with cricket):

Man's inability to get out of bed in the morning is a curious thing. One may reason with oneself clearly and forcibly without the slightest effect. One know that delay means inconvenience. Perhaps it may spoil one's whole day. And one also knows that a single resolute heave will do the trick. But logic is of no use. One simply lies there.


Or this:

There are situations in life which are beyond one. The sensible man realizes this, and slides out of such situations, admitting himself beaten. Others try to grapple with them, but it never does any good. When affairs get into a real tangle, it is best to sit still and let them straighten themselves out. Or, if one does not do that, simply to think no more about them. This is Philosophy. The true philosopher is the man who says "All right," and goes to sleep in his arm-chair.


And finally, there's this astute observation from The Mating Season:

Except for knowing that when you've heard one, you've heard them all, I'm not really an authority on violin solos, so cannot state definitely whether La Pulbrook's was or was not a credit to the accomplices who had taught her the use of the instrument. It was loud in spots and less loud in other spots, and it had that quality which I have noticed in all violin solos, of seeming to last much longer than it actually did.

1 comment:

Rosie said...

Wodehouse is great, isn't he? Sometime I really need to read some of his stuff. In the meantime, however, I'd better make it over to Russell's before I miss the whole football game. After that, I've got all the stuff I've been neglecting forever. Love ya!