The Art of Theft in The Little Nugget

953237Perhaps it might sound ridiculous that Wodehouse makes motives of “thefts” sound all the more fun, beautiful  and reasonable! I like a sparkling of camouflage and disguises with a twinge of “fate”, so on an aesthetic level, Wodehouse’s works of contrivances and plots reach full marks on the scale of ten; on the rational ground, except the unintentional cases of Egyptian scarab (Something Fresh) and Beach’s pocket watch (Galahad at Blandings), dealing with the stealing of Empress of Blandings in Summer Lightning and Service with a Smile, or Lady Constance’s necklace in Leave it to Psmith…many of which are all committed for solicitous considerations of Lord Emsworth’s sporadic absent-mindedness, and celebration of human irrationality called “love” that befalls on those exuberant youths.

The Little Nugget is a very satisfactory read, Wodehouse yet again crochets a splendid theft. It is a plot of vengeance and kidnapping of an American brat called Ogden Ford (the only disturbance of this novel is that I fretted and appalled by peals of scream this Little Nugget had caused, and then reminiscing the docility of Empress of Blandings), which stretches in most hospitable roof within and without an English Preparatory school called Sanstead House erected in the suburbs. Normally three characters at most would play crook-in-a-cloak game in his novels; this time there is an affable character pulling off more than one disguises of identities as an adventitious occurrence and ingenious plan! As to the reason of theft, it is altruistic than ever, especially when it is done not by an amateur but in the hands of a professional’s,

  • “In a sense, you might call me a human benefactor. I teach parents to appreciate their children. You know what parents are. Father gets caught short in steel rails one morning. When he reaches home, what does he do? He eases his mind by snapping at little Willie. Mrs Van First-Family forgets to invite mother to her freak-dinner. What happens? Mother takes it out of William. They love him, maybe, but they are too used to him. They do not realize all he is to them. And then, one afternoon, he disappears. The agony! The remorse! (…)”

Apart from the dark deeds and illicit dealings, The Little Nugget teems with wondrous figurative expressions and inimitable depictions of daily circumstances, which I think they resonance so much in mine. Perhaps it is not the best solution to jot them all down in this post, because it definitely will not emulate the beauty of copying them down in my notebook. In this case, I’ll end this post here to leave the others intrigued and resort to get them a copy of The Little Nugget on the shelf. Enjoy! 🙂

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Wong Sarah

Making reading the essential part of my life

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