Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, P.G. Wodehouse

I grew up watching Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie as, respectively, omniscient valet Reginald Jeeves and spineless but eloquent aristocrat Bertie Wooster. Wodehouse's books, while light weights, are a beautiful example of meticulous attention to excellence. Yes, they're romantic comedies, but they're the best romantic comedies you'll ever read. The father of modern comics like Terry Pratchett and Stephen Fry, and continuing the grand tradition of G.K. Chesterton and Jerome K. Jerome, Wodehouse was one of the funniest men to have ever lived.

I'm perfectly aware that I'm a day late. I'm also very ashamed of myself for not having a post prepared.

In penance, I hereto link to two excellent posts on P.G. Wodehouse. The first is for the new initiates:

"Simply put, Wodehouse is a black belt metaphor ninja."
Who Is P.G. Wodehouse, and Why Should It Matter to Us? - by Douglas Wilson

This is more in-depth, and if you have a sweet tooth for philosophy...

"The best answer to Friedrich Nietzsche we've managed yet to come up with is the prose of P.G. Wodehouse."  
God & Bertie Wooster - by Joseph Bottum

And these are also superb:

Jeeves and Wooster - Episode 1 - "Jeeves Takes Charge"


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Les Miserables - When It's Good It's Very, Very Good - Part 2

Warning: Absolutely packed with spoilers. Though I know this is 100+ years after it was published, most of the major plots twists in this book were ruined for me through the internet. So. I'm warning you.

In the first half of this post, I reviewed the story and more practical elements of Les Mis - in this follow-up, I get into the philosophy. That's code for: this will be boring to everyone but Hannah Long. Also, I am writing this from a Christian perspective, and am critiquing ideas by comparing them to theology, so Prepare Yourself.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Foyle's War - Sunflower Episode Review

My review of last week's episode: The Cage

One of the greatest attractions of murder mysteries are the conclusions. After a dramatic confrontation (usually in the library, surrounded by a group of suspects), the crook is bundled off to an undisclosed but hopefully sinister end. Lord Peter Wimsey observed that “in detective stories virtue is always triumphant. They’re the purest literature we have.” On the other hand, in spy stories, corruption and lying are often rampant on both sides, and stories end in a muddle of gray. James Bond is not paragon of justice.

This mix-up of the two genres worked for the first two episodes, but Sunflower comes dangerously close to compromising the entire premise of the show. In this episode, Foyle is tasked with a mission he finds very unpleasant: protecting a Nazi. Karl Strasser is making up for a dark history by feeding MI5 Soviet secrets, but he’s begun to receive death threats. Queue Foyle, the world’s worst bodyguard. His efforts on Strasser’s part seem only half-hearted.