Wodehouse’s status? It’s been vouched for by every major English writer of the twentieth century with a spark of insight or talent. He stands as father of the style of Evelyn Waugh, too acute ever to get lots in the prejudices that marred the latter’s delicacy of touch towards the end of his career. Wodehouse took a language forged out of second-rate fiction and narrative techniques from state farce and created a world as timeless and as true as that of Homer or Shakespeare. And despite his own self-deprecation, Wodehouse had his ambitions. Joy in the Morning, to be read immediately after The Code of the Woosters, deliberately invites comparison with Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, Wodehouse popped in enough allusions and quotations to bend the reader toward such parallel. And he survives it. The Wooster-Jeeves cycle is the central achievement of English fiction in the twentieth century; an achievement impossible to imitate, because – as E. M. Forster remarked of the poet Cavafy – the cycle stands at a slight angle to the universe, unreachable by almost anything but laughter itself.
Alexander Cockburn on P.G. Wodehouse