PG Wodehouse revisited

5th March 2019

Ben Schott, author of a sparkling new fictional homage to PG Wodehouse, was interviewed by Dr Joe Spence, Master of the College, in the Old Library, in front of a delighted audience of Wodehouse aficionados on Tuesday 26th February . Supported by Dulwich College, the event was an opportunity to hear the author read excerpts from his novel, Jeeves and the King of Clubs, in which Jeeves and Wooster become involved in an uproarious adventure of espionage, moving from the corridors of Whitehall to the private clubs of St James’s. A Wodehouse fan from an early age, Schott spoke with warm appreciation of the ‘ludic joy and bounce’ of Wodehouse’s prose, and of his own eagerness to avoid ‘pastiche or parody’ when channelling the spirit of ‘Plum’, as Wodehouse was affectionately known. Schott, whose Original Miscellany has been translated into twenty-one languages, explored the significance of Dulwich College for Wodehouse’s written style, with Plum’s love of the robust verb – ‘plunk’, ‘shove’, ‘splaarm’, ‘bash’ and ‘biff’ – arising from the everyday slang spoken by his schoolfellows. Schott’s palpable delight in Wodehouse’s witty linguistic experimentation was infectious; to judge by the audience’s warm response to the excerpts from Jeeves and the King of Clubs, his own book looks set to be a positively ripping success. (Author: Jo Akrill)