Saturday, 11 May 2013

Favourite snatches (2)

Anything at all from Wodehouse. But what? I remember yelping when I first read his description of a certain type of girl as 'the sand in civilisation's spinach'. 

Years later I read a very good essay on Wodehouse by V. S. Pritchett who singled out that very phrase and said it 'enriched the mind'. Well, yes. The phrase has everything - wit, compression, truth and startling originality. I expect there's a Greek word for such a figure of speech.

What, though, to choose? Stumped, I flipped open my copy of The Code of the Woosters (1938) and here's an  exchange between Jeeves and one of the girls who provide the sand in Bertie Wooster's spinach:

          “Jeeves, you really are a specific dream-rabbit."

          "Thank you, miss. I am glad to have given satisfaction.” 

"Specific dream-rabbit". You can just see her, can't you?

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