This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Saturday Rave: The Clicking of Cuthbert by PG Wodehouse.

Eggs and bacon, love and marriage, a cup of tea and a good book.

These usually go together beautifully, but take heed: do not, I repeat, do NOT attempt to drink tea (or anything else) while reading The Clicking of Cuthbert. You will end up snorting it all over the book.

There we are: a Health and Safety warning. Never say I don't care about you.

The Clicking of Cuthbert must be one of the very funniest, most snort-inducing stories ever written. It's about golf, love, and literary folk - and surely there can't be anyone in the world who hasn't a soft spot for at least one of those.

Here, poor Cuthbert is meeting the girl he loves with all his soul.

Sadly, the girl is in love with the works of the miserably difficult writer Vladimir Brusiloff.

" 'Good morning,' said Cuthbert, hollowly.

'Such good news about Vladimir Brusiloff.'

'Dead?' said Cuthbert, with a touch of hope. "

But unfortunately for Cuthbert the great Vladimir Brusiloff is not only alive and well, but he's coming to Aunt Emily's Reception on Wednesday.

Just about every line of this miraculous story (which you can read for free online: which is ridiculous) is worth quoting, but I'll leave you with the sentence which so often rises to my lips when I'm faced with Literature at its most wilfully obscure, self-congratulatory and depressing. It's Vladimir Brusiloff's verdict on the works of a fellow countryman.

" 'I spit me of Nastikoff!' " he says.

And, you know, sometimes I know exactly what he meant.

Word To Use Today: plum. As well as a fruit and a colour, this was PG Wodehouse's nickname (his first name was Pelham). The word comes from the Old English plūme and is related to the Latin prunum and the German Pflaume.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I snorted my tea just reading your extracts. What a genius he is, old Plum, isn't he? I am going on line now to read the whole thing... what fun!