Something someone else should write

Most servants in Wodehouse are not as thorougly self-educated as Jeeves – he’s odd even in his own world and clearly could do better than being Wooster’s man, but doesn’t want to. In a sense, his devotion is creepy, almost sinister, and has this vicarious sharing in Bertie’s more excessive moments. Someone should write the Highsmith/Wodehouse cross-over: The talented Mr Jeeves anyone?

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About rozkaveney

Middleaged, trans, novelist, poet, activist
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11 Responses to Something someone else should write

  1. autopope says:

    Bingo!

    Bertie is the straight guy in an ill-assorted-duo crime caper yarn. Jeeves is the Svengali cat-burglar master criminal hiding in the penumbral shadow of his master’s blithe, oblivious bonhomie. When Bertie gets into trouble and takes off for an ancestral pile for the weekend it’s usually a side-effect of manipulation by Jeeves who, having burgled somewhere posh, wants to go to ground. When Bertie attracts attention from the police, it’s usually because they know the villain is around here somewhere. Jeeves has, over the years, learned the knack of manipulating Bertie into doing and saying exactly what he suggests in any situation, by digging the not-too-bright lad out of any rough spots he encounters: Bertie is dependent on him, and not in a good way. For hanging over them both is the shadow of the noose, for in his younger, more impulsive days Jeeves slew a man, and now he has found an easily manipulated patsy he will ensure that, should an arrest be made, it will be Bertie who swings for his sins. (See also John Christie, Timothy Evans, Rillington Place murders, etc.)

  2. deliasherman says:

    Do I want to know if there’s Jeeves/Bertie slash? Probably not.

  3. cluegirl says:

    Ironic that I was just thinking fondly of Scream for Jeeves this morning…

  4. ffutures says:

    There’s a wonderful Wodehouse / Sayers crossover somewhere which explains most of Bertie’s oddities as down to shell shock from WW1 – he can’t think about the war at all, and Jeeves is part servant and part nurse, trying to manage his condition. A more extreme example of Wimsey’s inability to cope after the war.

    Sinister Jeeves works very well too, of course; there’s definitely something of the Moriarty about him and his manipulation of Wooster. Supernatural Jeeves would work too, I’d think.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I always assumed that Jeeves was too comfortable to move on. For somebody in service, he had a pretty easy life; looking after and being superior to Wooster wasn’t exactly a full-time job. And given the wages of service back then, there would have been little financial incentive to take on a more challenging position.

  6. hamsterine says:

    Nah, I dont think he was creepy or sinister.

    I think Jeeves was in a very good position. Being the more intelligent of the 2, he always made things work out the way he wanted them.

    Often the things he did were geared toward helping Wooster out of difficult situations, but although I don’t think he was a bad or sinister man nor do I think he was excessively devoted. When he did things which were extremely clever and helpful, and almost certainly more than would have been in his job description, I expect he did so to prove himself indispensible and therefore able to have greater leverage over his working conditions; pay, holiday, etc.

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