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The Indian view of the discipline of management speaks of four pillars of Integral Management – Wisdom, Power, Harmony and Perfection. Of these, Power is a potent tool which, when harnessed judiciously, enables organizations and individual managers to scale greater heights.

Organizations wield tremendous power. They do so not only by virtue of their financial prowess but also by way of their brand equity, their size, their reach in the market and the kind of innovative products or services they offer. They exercise influence on the society – first, by identifying its latent desires, and then by serving the same.

Individuals who are part of organizations also wield tremendous power over its resources and its people. Arrogance and exploitation could easily follow.

However, if Power is understood as “strength and force, Shakti, which enables one to face all that can happen and to stand and overcome” difficulties connected with “men, events, circumstances, means”, then Power could be used for the overall good of humankind.

Thus, with power comes the attendant responsibility of using it wisely and equitably. Checks and balances need to be put in place to ensure that boundaries set by values and ethics do not get transcended. Keeping a strict control on arrogant behaviour is the sine qua non of long-term success in career.

Power needs to be used in a socially responsible manner. Using the power to share the gains of business with relevant stakeholders makes good sense. Deployment of power to benefit the society at large, that too in a manner which does not harm the environment, ensures that the business remains sustainable.

Managers also have a latent power – of their mind, their will, their ambition, their attitude, their passion and their soft skills. By channelizing the same appropriately, they could rise to greater heights and become more evolved persons, exercising greater influence on the events and people they are connected with.

At a one-day seminar on “The Element of Power in Management” organized by SACAR on the 6th of August, 2016, speakers from a wide spectrum of managerial expertise shared their views on the judicious and responsible use of power in day-to-day operations.

SACAR Power Aug 2016 B

Dr. Ananda Reddy, the Director of SACAR, elaborated upon the four components of Management ― Perfection, Harmony, Power and Wisdom. He said that one could be spiritual at all the four levels – physical, vital, mental and psychic by aspiring towards what are called perfection, harmony, power and wisdom. These, he proposed, present a new paradigm of Management. On the level of thought, Power comes into play. Higher level management has to deal with the power of thought, of planning, of setting up realistic targets. He highlighted the importance of using power in a responsible and judicious manner.

SACAR Power Aug 2016 A

Dr. V. J. Chandran, IPS, SSP, Government of Puducherry, spoke of the need to use the power at one’s command in a spiritual manner – for the overall good. He highlighted the need to punish people in proportion to their crimes or indiscretions. While dealing with tough situations which present moral dilemmas, the Principles of Natural Justice have to be always kept in mind. Assuming responsibility and accountability is important. Improving upon one’s quality of work, one’s ability and one’s personal expertise alone helps. He shared with the participants certain instances where abuse of power led to severe complications for the society at large.

SACAR Power Aug 2016 3Ms. Mamatha Gurudev, Managing Director, Vijay Spheroidials, Bangalore, spoke of the power of beliefs while recounting her journey as an entrepreneur. She held that believing in oneself was the single most important trait of an entrepreneur. It makes sense to cultivate a habit of looking within and of being in touch with one’s own inner self. Trust reposed in one by others also empowers oneself. The focus should always be on the process, not on the person. She exhorted the participants to change their attitude from ‘I can’t do it yet’ to that of ‘I can do it’.

SACAR Power Aug 2016 4Ms. Padma Asokan, Director, Omeon Solutions, Chennai, elaborated the art of leveraging the power of money. Money needs constant activity and circulation. It should be used to increase wealth and prosperity. Wealth belongs to the divine and those who hold it are mere ‘’Trustees” and not “Possessors”. Investment in people is as important as investment in business. To be successful, a business needs to make money without diluting its core values. She shared with the participants quite a few of her experiences in running her business.

SACAR Power Aug 2016 5

As part of an interactive session, conducted by yours truly, participants spoke of the various ways in which they had experienced, and occasionally countered, the abuse of power. Clips from the movie ‘Erin Brockovich’ were shared with the participants, showcasing the challenges inherent in trying to stand up to big corporates polluting the environment with little regard for the community in which they operate.

SACAR Power Aug 2016 6

Mr. P. Rangaraj, Chairman, Chemin Controls & Instrumentation, Puducherry, spoke of the power of innovation in business. He touched upon some unique success stories and highlighted the need to make frugal engineering a routine habit. He described the kind of disruptions that innovation normally causes and explained the elements of perfection, harmony and wisdom which are necessary to upscale and market a new product or service.  Identifying market needs and fulfilling the same with innovative products needs to be part of a company’s culture. This alone could lead to sustainable growth and a strong brand image.

SACAR Power Aug 2016 7

Mr. Jayprakash Thindiyote, Managing Director and CEO, PSL Management Software Technologies, Puducherry, touched upon the power of technology. He spoke of rapid advances in the field of robotics and the advent of Artificial Intelligence. He felt that the more the technology evolves, the higher would be the need for bringing in spirituality at the work place. Having respect for alternative views, effective communication, genuine compassion and a creative approach to problem solving alone could help a business grow in future. He exhorted managers to be like an I-POD, that is, have an Inner Peace but be Outwardly Dynamic.

Mr. Ganesh Babu, Founder and CEO, Winning Minds Solutions, Puducherry, and Dr. Arvind Gupta, Assistant Director, Directorate of Distance Education, Pondicherry University, coordinated the entire event. Their back up support was invaluable in the planning as well as the hosting of the entire event.

Dr. Shruti Bidwaikar, Assistant Director, SACAR, summed up the proceedings and offered a vote of thanks.

The seminar received an overwhelming response from participants coming from various walks of life, like government officials, management educationists, corporate executives, businessmen, Aurovillians, entrepreneurs and students.

The Integral Management Group of SACAR had already covered the facet of Perfection and Harmony in the past. The next event, focusing on the facet of Wisdom, is planned to be hosted during March, 2017.

 

ashokbhatia

Sweden is famous for its fetish with gender equality. So it came as no surprise recently when the male train drivers there started wearing skirts to work. Faced with high temperatures, the guys had actually asked for permission to wear shorts. The same was promptly denied – because the dress code permits only trousers and skirts! By doing so, however, the male train drivers possibly revived a fashion invented long time back by the Greeks, Egyptians and Romans!

Ask a psycho-analyst and he is likely to dismiss the news rather calmly. Most behavioral studies establish that our personalities area1 1 (14b) made up of masculine as well as feminine traits. So, what is new, he might well ask. Ask a spiritual guru from India and he is sure to point out the relevance of the concept of ardha-nareeshwara – a combination of the Purusha and the Prakriti – propounding the unified nature…

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There is no dearth of movie fans who straddle the worlds of Hollywood as well as Bollywood. Here is a delectable post from Madhulika Liddle that such souls are bound to relish!

Dustedoff

Specifically, Hindi cinema of the 50s and 60s.

This post had its genesis in a post sometime back, in which blog reader and fellow blogger Rahul commented that he tended to not watch foreign films. I decided, then, to create a list of ten foreign films that might appeal to a lover of old Hindi cinema. Then, a couple of weeks down the line, when I reviewed The Woman in Question, Rahul reminded me of that promise, asking me when I’d be posting that list of English films. There had obviously been a misunderstanding somewhere; I had meant non-English films. But it gave me an idea; why not a list of English-language films too?

After all, it’s not as if the plots and themes of Hollywood and British cinema from the Golden Years were completely alien to Indian audiences. In fact, many of them would be familiar to watchers…

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Not everyone can withstand the pressure of stardom and a celebrity status with equipoise. Here is a post which brings out the negative side of being in the arc lights of society.

My Views On Bollywood

By Sharada Iyer

Indeed, the strains and pressures of being in showbiz are best understood only by those deeply immersed in it. Being public figures in the world of glamour does not mean their personal lives are perfect. They have their own share of weaknesses and handling the pressures of public scrutiny and heart-breaks can take its toll…

Recently when Deepika Padukone went public with her own struggles and battle with depression, it sent a shock wave in the industry as well as among her countless fans. It was difficult to imagine how such a beautiful actress with all top banners, endorsements, plum roles, hit films and numerous awards have depressing thoughts!!!

If we look back, the 100-year history of this great industry is dotted with tragic deaths of many artistes who after tasting enormous success became victims of depression and sorrow and turned to alcohol or drugs for succour…

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Napoleon, had he been around in our times, would have been amused upon discovering the high level of influence he exerts over the residents of Plumsville. Much like a spiritual sun which shines with equal benevolence on all, his leadership traits and planning skills provide inspiration to almost all the characters we come across in the narratives dished out by Plum. Even in defeat and disorderly retreat, he does not fail to provide succour to a tormented soul. His soft power extends to a wide variety of situations and continues to enthuse many amongst us.

When it comes to handling a difficult task, Napoleon provides the inspiration. With him around, failure is not an option. When irate nerve specialists have to be confronted, his skills in planning wars come in handy.

Members of the so-called sterner sex shudder at the prospect of being expected to carve out a Napoleonic career for themselves so as to earn the respect of the delicately nurtured in their lives. Overbearing sisters get labelled as persons who could dominate even the likes of Napoleon.

When a goofy plan is laid bare, it gets listened to with the same reverence with which Napoleon was heard by his humble adherents.  When impelled by a youthful and hypnotic Napoleon, one meekly accepts a course of action which one does not really approve of oneself.

A confident and resourceful person often commands the reluctant respect of a woman, much like Napoleon would. The latter’s trait of going for the enemy’s weak point comes in for praise. When it comes to imperious gestures, Napoleon even gets compared to Henry VIII.

Should one have suffered a crushing defeat in an enterprise, mere mention of what Napoleon suffered at Moscow soothes the soul.

Here are some quotes which demonstrate the power that Napoleon exerts in various narratives of Plum.

Napoleon inspires Bingo Little

If Bingo Little has to save his job at Wee Tots, he has to attend a luncheonEggsBeansAndCrumpets being hosted by Bella Mae. The challenge he faces in doing so is to convince Mrs. Bingo to celebrate their wedding anniversary by having a dinner together, instead of a lunch.

“And then, after he had been sitting for a goodish time with his head in his hands, exercising every cell in his brain to its utmost capacity, he received an inspiration and saw what Napoleon would have done. A moment later, he was on the telephone, with Mrs. Bingo’s silvery voice are-you-there-ing at the other end. 

“Hullo, darling,” he said. 

“Hullo, angel,” said Mrs. Bingo. 

“Hullo, precious,” said Bingo. 

“Hullo, sweetie-pie,” said Mrs. Bingo. 

“I say, moon of my delight,” said Bingo, “listen. A rather awkward thing has happened, and I should like your advice as to how to act for the best. There’s a most important litterateuse we are anxious to land for the old sheet, and the question has arisen of my taking her out to lunch to-day.” 

“Oh, Bingo!” 

“Now, my personal inclination is to tell her to go to blazes.” 

“Oh, no, you mustn’t do that.” 

“Yes, I think I will. ‘Nuts to you, litterateuse? I shall say.” 

“No, Bingo, please! Of course you must take her to lunch.” 

“But how about our binge?” 

“We can have dinner instead.”

 “Dinner?”

 “Yes.”

 Bingo allowed himself to be persuaded. “Now, that’s an idea,” he said. “There, I rather think, you’ve got something.”

 “Dinner will be just as good.””

[The Editor Regrets (Eggs, Beans and Crumpets)]

 

Napoleon sets the bar for a difficult task

Aunt Julia expects Ukridge to ingratiate himself with a tycoon of the jute industry and land a job, thereby doing something useful and ceasing to be what she calls a wastrel and an idler.

“‘Idler! I’ll trouble you! As if for a single day in my life, Corky, I have ever not buzzed about doing the work of ten men. Why, take the mere getting of that couple of quid from old Tuppy, for instance.

 ‘Simple as it sounds, I doubt if Napoleon could have done it. Tuppy, sterling fellow though he is, has his bad mornings. He comes down to the office and finds a sharp note from the President of Uruguay or someone on his desk, and it curdles the milk of human kindness within him. On these occasions he becomes so tight that he could carry an armful of eels up five flights of stairs and not drop one. And yet in less than a quarter of an hour I had got a couple of quid out of him.’

 ‘Oh, well, women say these things.”

 [Ukridge and the Old Stepper (Eggs, Beans and Crumpets)]

 

When failure is not an option

Reginald Mulliner is bucked up after his sterling performance at the villageAFewQuickOnes concert and is intent upon giving a piece of his mind to Sir Jasper Todd, the financier. He proceeds to Wissel Hall.

‘When Reginald reached the massive front door, the fact that repeated ringing of the bell produced no response suggested that the domestic staff had been given the night off to attend the concert. But he was convinced that the man he sought was somewhere inside, and as he had now thought of five more names to call him, bringing the total to eleven, he had no intention of being foiled by a closed front door. As Napoleon would have done in his place, he hunted around till he had found a ladder.

Bringing this back and propping it up against the balcony of one of the rooms on the first floor, he climbed up. He had now thought of a twelfth name, and it was the best of the lot.’

(A Few Quick Ones)

 

A singular absence of nerves of chilled steel

 A nerve specialist like Sir Roderick Glossop can hardly help taking a ratherThe Inimitable Jeeves 1st edition (1923) image courtesy of wikipedia warped view of humanity. It stands to reason that when Aunt Agatha plays a match-maker for his daughter Honoria, he wishes to check the Pumpkin Quotient of Bertie Wooster, the groom-to-be. Some cats in Bertie’s bedroom, a stolen hat and nerves of a weaker version of steel ensure that the fixture is scratched.

‘I say! This isn’t my hat!’

‘It is my hat!’ said Sir Roderick in about the coldest, nastiest voice I’d ever heard. ‘The hat which was stolen from me this morning as I drove in my car.’

 ‘But-’

 I suppose Napoleon or somebody like that would have been equal to the situation, but I’m bound to say it was too much for me. I just stood there goggling in a sort of coma, while the old boy lifted the hat off me and turned to Jeeves.

 ‘I should be glad, my man,’ he said, ‘if you would accompany me a few yards down the street. I wish to ask you some questions.’

 ‘Very good, sir.’

[Sir Roderick Comes to Lunch (The Inimitable Jeeves)]

 

The challenge of carving out a career

Eustace entices Bertie to visit Twing Hall, where, upon arrival, he runs into Cynthia.

‘Oh, hallo, old thing,’ I said.

Great pals we’ve always been. In fact, there was a time when I had an idea I was in love with Cynthia. However, it blew over. A dashed pretty and lively and attractive girl, mind you, but full of ideals and all that. I may be wronging her, but I have an idea that she’s the sort of girl who would want a fellow to carve out a career and what not. I know I’ve heard her speak favourably of Napoleon. So what with one thing and another the jolly old frenzy sort of petered out, and now we’re just pals. I think she’s a topper, and she thinks me next door to a loony, so everything’s nice and matey.

[The Great Sermon Handicap (The Inimitable Jeeves)]

 

Someone who could dominate even Napoleon

“Precisely as stated Lady Constance was in the amber drawing-room, APelicanAtBlandingssipping sherry and looking as formidable and handsome as ever. 

All Lord Emsworth’s sisters were constructed on the lines of the severer type of Greek goddess, except Hermione, who looked like a cook, and Connie in particular was remarkable for aristocratic hauteur and forcefulness of eye. One felt immediately on seeing her that there stood the daughter of a hundred earls, just as when confronted with Lord Emsworth one had the impression that one had encountered the son of a hundred tramp cyclists. He was wearing at the moment patched flannel trousers, a ragged shirt, a shooting coat with holes in the elbows and bedroom slippers. These, of course, in addition to the apprehensive look always worn by him when entering this formidable woman’s presence. From childhood onward she had always dominated him, as she would have dominated Napoleon, Attila the Hun and an all-in wrestling champion.”

 (A Pelican at Blandings)

 

Plans which are listened to with reverence

When Dolly lays out her plans, these get listened to with reverence, thoughMoneyForNothing tinged with some doubt.

‘Don’t you worry, Soapy. I’ve got this thing well in hand. When we’ve gone, you jump to the ‘phone and get Chimp on the wire and tell him this guy and I are on our way over. Tell him I’m bringing the kayo drops and I’ll slip them to him as soon as I arrive. Tell him to be sure to have something to drink handy and to see that this bird gets a taste of it.’

‘I get you, pettie!’ Mr. Molloy’s manner was full of a sort of awe-struck reverence, like that of some humble adherent of Napoleon listening to his great leader outlining plans for a forthcoming campaign; but nevertheless it was tinged with doubt. He had always admired his wife’s broad, spacious outlook, but she was apt sometimes, he considered, in her fresh young enthusiasm, to overlook details.

(Money for Nothing)

 

Being impelled by a youthful hypnotic Napoleon

Plans to park Ogden somewhere safe get made all the time. Mr. PrettPiccadillyJim reluctantly agrees to fall in line with Ann’s fruity scheme, a scheme he himself does not approve of.

‘In the boyhood of nearly every man there is a single outstanding figure, someone youthful hypnotic Napoleon whose will was law and at whose bidding his better judgment curled up and died. In Mr. Pett’s life Ann’s father had filled this role. He had dominated Mr. Pett at an age when the mind is most malleable. And now—so true is it that though Time may blunt our boyish memories the traditions of boyhood live on in us and an emotional crisis will bring them to the surface as an explosion brings up the fish that lurk in the nethermost mud—it was as if he were facing the youthful Hammond Chester again and being irresistibly impelled to some course of which he entirely disapproved but which he knew that he was destined to undertake. He watched Ann as a trapped man might watch a ticking bomb, bracing himself for the explosion and knowing that he is helpless. She was Hammond Chester’s daughter, and she spoke to him with the voice of Hammond Chester. She was her father’s child and she was going to start something.’

(Piccadily Jim)

The reluctant respect that Napoleon commands

With his tall claims, Mr. Bulpitt earns the reluctant respect of Lady Abbott.

‘You and your science!’

‘All right, then, me and my science.’

There was hostility in Lady Abbott’s eyes, but also a certain reluctant respect, such as the Napoleon type always extorts from women.

‘Have you ever been beaten at this game, Sam?’

‘Once only,’ said Mr. Bulpitt, with modest pride.

(Summer Moonshine)

 

Going straight for the enemy’s weak point

Joe tells Jane that his stepmother has bought the entire rights to his successfulSummerMoonshine (1) play and plans to take it off stage so as to avoid getting sniggered at by her close friends for some inappropriate parts therein. He is therefore planning to leave for California. Jane realizes that the cold fury she felt against Joe could well have been a deeper affection. The character of his stepmother comes into focus.

“Jane was in no mood to share this detached, sportsmanlike attitude.

‘She’s a hellhound.’

‘But a Napoleonic one. Like Napoleon, she sees the enemy’s weak point and goes straight at it, crumpling him up and causing him to fly from the field in rout. You see me now about to fly from the field.’”

(Summer Moonshine)

When Napoleon competes with Henry VIII

When Princess Dwornitzchek discovers that her stepson is engaged to be married to a secretary, she loses no time in ticking off Sir Buckstone.

“The Princess Dwornitzchek turned to Sir Buckstone with a sweeping gesture.

‘So!’ she said.

There are very few men capable of remaining composed and tranquil when a woman is saying ‘So!’ at them, especially when a sweeping gesture accompanies the word. Napoleon could have done it, and Henry VIII, and probably Jenghiz Khan, but Sir Buckstone was not of their number. He collapsed abruptly into his chair, as if he had been struck by a thunderbolt.”

(Summer Moonshine)

Retreating in disorder

The search for the prized Lady in Blue has left Jerry feeling defeated. HePGW TheGirlInBlue confides in Jane who is ready to buzz off to London on some legal errand.

‘My New York lawyer has come over and wants to see me. He’s just telephoned. Something about my legacy, I suppose. I’ll be back this evening. But never mind that, I want to hear what happened. How did you get on?’

‘Not too well.’

‘I thought as much.’

It had not taken great perception to bring her to this conclusion. Even at a distance he would have struck her as being on the sombre side. To be obliged to retreat in disorder from a stricken battlefield always tends to lower the spirits. Napoleon, who had this experience at Moscow, made no secret of the fact that he did not enjoy it, and Jerry, going through the same sort of thing at Mellingham Hall, Mellingham-in-the-Vale, was definitely not at his perkiest.

(The Girl in Blue)

 

Squelching back from Moscow

A confrontation between Augustus and Rocket has led to the party falling intoPGW JeevesInTheOffing the lake at Brinkley Court.

‘Reaching the mainland some moments later and squelching back to the house, accompanied by Bobbie, like a couple of Napoleons squelching back from Moscow, we encountered Aunt Dahlia, who, wearing that hat of hers that looks like one of those baskets you carry fish in, was messing about in the herbaceous border by the tennis lawn. She gaped at us dumbly for perhaps five seconds, then uttered an ejaculation, far from suitable to mixed company, which she had no doubt picked up from fellow-Nimrods in her hunting days.’

(Jeeves in the Offing)

 

The Napoleonic Code and the Wooster Code

Napoleon, born on the 15th of August, 1769, was a great military and political reader. His lasting legal achievement, the Napoleonic Code, is said to have influenced the legal systems of more than 70 nations around the world. According to British historian Andrew Roberts, “concepts such as meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, and so on—were championed, consolidated, codified and geographically extended by Napoleon. To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire.”

Some of these are rather close to the key values we find covered in the Code of the Woosters. As discussed elsewhere in a series of posts, the C of the W is not only about standing by one’s pals through thick and thin. It is also about equality before, and respect for, the law. It is about one being a Preux Chevalier. The spirit of Noblesse Oblige. The capacity to tame a hippopotamus like Roderick Spode by teamwork. Of having a bulldog spirit. Of refusing to be a doormat. Of being aware of one’s Pumpkin Quotient. Of attempting a pitiless analysis of one’s own actions.

The only aspect of the Wooster Code which would have possibly met with Napoleon’s stern disapproval would be that of upholding the feudal spirit. Being the proponent of a democratic outlook on life, he might have taken a dim view of aunts endeavouring to influence the cause of justice by offering to trade-off their favourite chefs so as to avoid the prospect of their nephews serving thirty days without the option.

Of ‘Napoleon Complex’ and the contempt for intellectuals

Napoleon’s sense of humour is said to have been so limited that he demandedNapoleon that all court painters refrain from putting a smile on any of his portraits.  As luck would have it, other than Roderick Spode, there are not many characters in Plum’s works that could be said to suffer from a ‘Napoleon Complex.’

Quite a few of the delicately nurtured fail in their attempts to raise the Bertie Wooster’s level of intellect by making him read such profound works as ‘Types of Ethical Theory’. Bertie has this innate tendency of avoiding intellectual pursuits of any kind. It is quite likely that Napoleon, had he ever run into him, would have heartily approved of this trait of his. The great strategist is reported to have once said that “You don’t reason with intellectuals; you shoot them.

A French honour for Plum?!

Given his poor sense of humour, it would have surely surprised someone like Napoleon to hear from one of his humble adherents about the kind of influence he exercises upon the goings-on in Plumsville.

Discovering the manner in which his sterling qualities of head and heart have been showcased by Wodehouse in his numerous works, Napoleon might have even considered making our beloved Master Wordsmith an honorary Knight in the French Legion Of Honour!

(Related post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/de-codifying-the-code-of-the-woosters)

Today is World Elephant Day, and while that means it’s a great time to catch up on cute elephant videos online, there are also serious problems facing the species. Elephant numbers have dropped by 62% over the last decade, according to the World Elephant Day website, and an estimated 100 African elephants are killed each…

via Today Is World Elephant Day. Here’s Why That Matters — Science – TIME

Can sunlit humour of a Plum kind be put under a microscope and analyzed? Opinions on this differ but many of us do derive intense satisfaction in doing just that.

Here is a post which does that with much elan.

Enjoy!

Bucket of Work

indexand not for the first time he found himself wishing that he had a stronger will, or, alternatively, that Brenda had a weaker one. (p.11)

This is almost the last book P.G. Wodehouse wrote.

(Deirdre.) ‘I’ve often wondered how that name was spelled,’ said Vicky meditatively. ‘I suppose you start off with a capital D and then just try your luck.’ (p.76)

He was 93 and in hospital and still firing on mental all cylinders.

sixteen skeleton chapters of a Wodehouse novel that was to have gone to twenty-two. (p.104)

Unfortunately it is incomplete.

No scholar, as far as I know, had collected all the railway references and laid them out for inspection. …I have brought them all together. It was not difficult, only laborious. (p.187)

And following the last edited and typed chapter he wrote, this book dissects the world Wodehouse created and this too is unfortunate.

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