Funny story about the word “practical.”
It was my ambition to be practical for years. I thought it sounded like such a great thing to be.
And then one day it hit me that the real reason I wanted to be practical was that I liked the sound of the word.
And I realized, with a pang, that that wasn’t a practical reason at all.
Brilliant! Yes, I think that’s why it seemed to fit. Just never thought of it quite so eloquently.
Ah, outside the box. Mike. Yes, I see it. Back on it goes.
"Take Five" is the jaunt to the post office of course.
Put “The Passenger” somewhere before “Take Five” again! XD
Hats off to you for figuring out that they were in some kind of rough order!
That opening line “I certainly haven’t been shopping for any new shoes” cemented “Extraordinary Machine” for me as about the shoenanigans with Downing. Although it really works for both cases (lots of parallels between the two). But the imagery was more shoenanigans, and there were enough Psmith v. Bickersdyke songs already.
Here I was worried that “The Puppy Song” would be too adorable. Glad it worked. (“Upside Down” was removed because I feared it was too “sweet” for Psmith, but it just may find its way back again. Anything else that needs to return?)
Yep, the line about shoes was what made me think Downing. :D
That song wasn’t too adorable because (PREPARE FOR INSIGHT) it’s not merely about wanting a friend, it’s about wanting a portable friend. Like a puppy. Which is what Mike is, let’s face it. And by trying to save him from the authorities Psmith gives him some autonomy by recognizing that he has a life outside of just being a pleasant companion and an attentive listener—a life in which he’d probably prefer not to be expelled—and it shows a certain amount of emotional growth from their relationship as depicted earlier in the story.
See, the reason “Upside Down” worked for me is that I wasn’t thinking Psmith, I was thinking Mike! It seemed to fit his happier, nicer, enjoying-nature side (as opposed to the scowly I-hate-everything side from earlier in the playlist). But mostly I think I just liked the song. ^_^
"Take Five". I didn’t even mention that. "Take Five" was perfect.
On the subject of the Psmith playlist, it’s killing me that I can’t listen to it! The program/website doesn’t work in my country. :-T
Ahh no! You mentioned this last time I downloaded Spotify! (I have downloaded it twice after deleting it from my computer in order to free up hard drive space. Both times for Wodehouse-y reasons, hilariously enough. What are the odds?)
Well this’ll just give me an excellent excuse to reblog the songs from it then. *nods* Next week. Easter. When I’m free again!
Also, all the Imagine Dragons on that playlist reminded me that I own that album and that one of my hobbies is following miscellaneous siblings around while attempting to sing the songs in the guy’s voice.
I wouldn’t have expected anything less than a full-scale, in-depth analysis of the problem from isfjmel-phleg, and that’s what I got! Ahh, so satisfying to read.
I believe we can declare the question officially closed! And hmm, I might refer Stephen Fry to this page… XD
(I always took it for granted, since they do end up corresponding and since Psmith made a point of telling him to, that Mike uses the P in writing to humor him. But only in writing. And he’d be just about the only one to do it, except for maybe the staff of Cosy Moments—I can’t imagine anyone at the bank, for instance, accepting any name other than “Smith”, unless he managed to charm Rossiter into complying.)
The business with Freddie seeming to automatically understand how his name is pronounced cracks me up. Strange minds thinking alike, I guess.
I’m amused, because my original thought on choosing that song was that it reminded me of Mike:
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful, a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they’d be singing so happily, joyfully, playfully watching me.
But then they send me away to teach me how to be sensible, logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable, clinical, intellectual, cynical.
But on another level, it works for both of them and their Sedleigh blues (or even working in the bank too).
…You know, I should have figured it was probably for Mike because it was earlier in the playlist! Just like I realized later that you were using “Extraordinary Machine” for Psmith vs. Bickersdyke and not Downing, only then you moved it earlier to the section dealing with Mike and Psmith, which I assume was because of my comment. I’m not sure which of them it’s better for. Probably Bickersdyke, actually. I ought to stop meddling. XD
But, hey, the fact that “The Logical Song” works for either one of them makes it kind of awesome. With the parallel stories happening and everything.
Supertramp - The Logical Song
now watch what you say, they’ll be calling you a radical,
a liberal, oh fanatical, criminal.
This was on isfjmel-phleg's Psmith playlist, which I've been listening to a lot this week (…is that cheating? I mean I guess it's sort of the Internet but it’s in a Spotify window?), and I’m kind of obsessed. It’s so very Psmith.
It reminds me of him making someone sit down on yonder settee so he can tell them the painful story of his life.
I want your loves to be multiple. I don’t want you to be a snob about anything. Anything you love, you do it. It’s got to be with a great sense of fun. Writing is not a serious business. It’s a joy and a celebration. You should be having fun with it. Ignore the authors who say “Oh, my God, what word? Oh, Jesus Christ…”, you know. Now, to hell with that. It’s not work. If it’s work, stop and do something else.
Now, what I’m thinking of is, people always saying “Well, what do we do about a sudden blockage in your writing? What if you have a blockage and you don’t know what to do about it?” Well, it’s obvious you’re doing the wrong thing, don’t you? In the middle of writing something you go blank and your mind says: “No, that’s it.” Ok. You’re being warned, aren’t you? Your subconscious is saying “I don’t like you anymore. You’re writing about things I don’t give a damn for.” You’re being political, or you’re being socially aware. You’re writing things that will benefit the world. To hell with that! I don’t write things to benefit the world. If it happens that they do, swell. I didn’t set out to do that. I set out to have a hell of a lot of fun.
I’ve never worked a day in my life. I’ve never worked a day in my life. The joy of writing has propelled me from day to day and year to year. I want you to envy me, my joy. Get out of here tonight and say: “Am I being joyful?” And if you’ve got a writer’s block, you can cure it this evening by stopping whatever you’re writing and doing something else. You picked the wrong subject.
See, it’s a fairly common bit of trivia that Psmith can tell when you’re saying his name wrong, without the P. He even named a TV Tropes page pertaining to this kind of ability in other characters, for goodness’ sake. And yet…he himself doesn’t! At least not that I can recall, after reading all four books (aloud, even, so missing something would’ve been difficult, though I have been known to zone out). I kept expecting it to happen in much the same way I kept expecting them to take a hot air balloon in Around the World in 80 Days, going on the mere circumstantial evidence that there was a hot air balloon on the cover (spoiler alert: they take every mode of transportation the mind of man has ever conceived, except a balloon).
The most obvious textual evidence against his having such a superpower is the fact that…well, everyone consistently calls him Smith, even people like Mike and Eve who should really know better. (The only exception is Freddie Threepwood, who, after all, saw his name in print before he ever heard it spoken.) And since he is very particular about having it spelled with the “P” in writing, he’d never hold his tongue if he understood that people were thinking his name wrong. He’d count it betrayal on a grand scale.
I’m inclined to blame this on the show QI, where Stephen Fry appears to have referenced Psmith’s ability to do this. My guess is he was mixing up his Wodehouse characters: there’s a Mr. Mulliner story where a man named ffinch-ffarrowmere keeps correcting people for saying his name with capital letters. (Worth noting: the whole point of the Mulliner stories is that they’re told by an unreliable narrator with a penchant for the bizarre, so they have permission to defy the laws of physics like that. The Psmith stories, on the other hand, run on the premise that typical mortals confuse the unusual and the impossible—nothing happens in the series that wouldn’t technically be possible in reality, even if, you know, it’s all frustratingly unlikely.)
…But maybe I’m totally off-base with this? Someone help me settle the question!
‘Because I like you,’ she said, ‘and I don’t want anything from you.’
Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem by Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin, Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Look what I forgot I had! Ancient art of three of my old characters on ancient Latin homework!
(Ancient in both senses.)
I’ve been picking away at the WIP of this story for so long that the two characters (left and right) that I invented essentially to play the role of “cool older brothers” to my protagonist and therefore vicariously to myself…are now younger than me by two years. [face palm]
I’m dead sick of it, but recently I read an excerpt from it to the critique group in my English Society and got some very helpful feedback and even some requests to hear more chapters! So it’s kind of revitalized my interest.
The character to the far left is Din, owner of the “gaunt smile” that so perplexed my critique partners. XD
And yep, he’s putting the lid of her ice cream carton on her head.