The joy of literary collisions

Over the weekend, I had a couple of good laughs when, in books I was reading, the authors made comments about a book I’d recently read, or am working through on a medicinal basis.

I revisited some of our Jeeves audiobooks, Jeeves in the offing, Right ho! Jeeves and Much obliged Jeeves. The part I enjoyed the most was one which I’d presumably read many times before, but which only struck home because I’ve recently read or listened to the entire Nero Wolfe series by Rex Stout. In Right ho!, Bertie Wooster waxes lyrical about how good Rex Stouts are, just after his aunt tries to beam him with one for being such a silly ass.  He knows he must have made her very cross indeed, because once a Stout has its hooks into one, its very difficult to put down, let along fling at your nephew with shocking force. He later disturbs her, and thinks she’s so annoyed because she must just have got to the it where  Nero Wolfe comes down from the orchid room, calls Archie Goodwin to phone Saul Panzer and Orrie Whatshisname, and things are about to kick off. So Bertie Wooster is quite a fan of Stout’s apparently: something which I must have known, and if I’d paid attention to I’d have probably done my “read the whole series” thing quite a bit earlier.

I had another one of these as well. I was reading some Twain, being in a Twain mood due to his recent death anniversary, and struck something I’d probably read before, but had only sunk in now that I’m blogging with a tremendous number of people who love Austen.  Now, don’t get me wrong: I quite like Austen and will be swanning about Bath later in the year, possibly during the massive cosplay event where they pour Bath full of people frocked up in an Austenian manner. To prepare for this I’m tackling Persuasion for the first time, and its good, but I can’t say I relish it, and so I can’t say I didn’t laugh out loud when I read this from Mr Twain.

I haven’t any right to criticise books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.

…which is hardly fair, but was dashed amusing.  What I’m not all that clear on is why he’s read Pride and Prejudice more than once, given his passions.

Loupie has quite a list of Jane spinoffs over here. There are some of the authors on that list I’d  be tempted to bean with Jane Austen’s shin, or even with a Rex Stout.