Here’s another voice chiming in on Wodehouse’s “silliness”: in the New York Review of Books in 2013, Geoffrey Wheatcroft reviewed the same book as Leithauser and came to different conclusions. He repeats much of what we already know, but adds a few new twists.
Half-thoughts: Perhaps part of what we’re discussing here (pace Gary et al) is the difference between British and American attitudes about what constitutes “a sense of humor” (…or is it a sense of seriousness?) Lewis Carroll vs Mark Twain? Monty Python vs Woody Allen? … (I started to look through some James Thurber to see how he compared with Plum – and that’s when I thought of Woody Allen.) – Tom