George Grossmith - The Diary of a Nobody
It is with the uttermost pleasure that I read through the diary of Mr Charles Pooter of Holloway, London.
Mark my words, this gentleman was certainly not a Nobody.
I am aware that the excellent Mrs Pooter and the author's own son, Mr Lupin Pooter, didn't value the diary much. Nonetheless, it is my strong belief that they are both mistaken in this respect.
By Jove! This distinguished gentleman - which is to say Mr Charles Pooter - not only mastered his business in the City but knew very well how to draw the most exquisite portrait of a suburban life. A life that you might think of as quintessentially dull, but it shines as actually quite amusing, refreshing and dignified in this most valued diary.
It will suffice to say that I am utterly delighted to discover that a man of such moral stature and of supremely noble behaviour such as Mr Pooter left his mark in the history of British literature.
To tell you the truth, I value Mr Charles Pooter over the whole lot of the most accomplished humourists that England has had the privilege to breed.
You might object that Jerome and Wodehouse did rather well in the same literary department and that this Nobody does not deserve to share their fame.To which objection I shall reply in this way; true, good old John Klapka Jerome and P.G. Wodehouse might have been particularly good when it came to depict funny vignettes and unforgettable characters, but what Charles Pooter gave to the Anglo-Saxon readers is much more: and it is style.
In fact, I am proud to state that all of its undeniable mastery the work of both authors pale by comparison to the one of Mr Pooter of Holloway.
By the by, shall we forget to mention Mr Pooter's uproarius word jokes?
No, we shall better not.
For Mr Charles Pooter was first and foremost a diarist and a chronicler of his times (in this respect quite capable to look at a master like Samuel Pepys eye to eye), but also one of the wittiest men around.
How regretful to think that a gentleman of such intellectual stature didn't have the chance to meet with his peers!
For even though this diary covers a span of only a few months in the life and opinions of Charles Pooter, it is quite clear that his sharp wit was not recognized by his family, friends and acquaintances.
And this Pooterish knowledge is excruciatingly painful to bear.
Hail, then, to the brilliant Mr George Grossmith for making Mr Charles Pooter's literary legacy known to the readers of today!