Outlawed by Stalin in 1929, P G Wodehouse – or Pyelem G Vudhaus as he is known – has undergone a remarkable revival since the ban on his books was lifted in 1990.
There can be few fans as dedicated, however, as Mr Kuzmenko.
As president and founder of the Russian Wodehouse Society he has attracted over 3,000 members, some from as far away as Cheliabinsk and Omsk, thousands of miles to the east. His monthly Wodehouse dinners at the Cleopatra and elsewhere are always sold out.
The actors Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie have played their part. Ever since their acclaimed television portrayal of Jeeves and Wooster was dubbed into Russian, young fans have started flocking to the club.
Wodehouse translations have mushroomed and even a souring of Anglo-Russian relations has done little to dim the enthusiasm for this quintessentially English author.
Is it because Kristol Talks, Ivan Listens?
Or is it due to a secret streak of Anglophilia?
“The reader is lifted into an English paradise, which many Russians believe is the best paradise of all.”
I ask, you decide.
John O’Sullivan says there’s a Drones Club in New York. I wonder if they accept women?
You, too, can do as the Russians and enjoy the whole Fry/Laurie Jeeves & Wooster series on DVD:
And of course, there are the books,
But if you become a Hugh Laurie fan (who, moi?)
I don’t know about you, but I find it comforting to think that Bertie Wooster grew up to be Dr. House…