Category Archives: P. G. Wodehouse

I Know I Was Writing Stories When I Was Five

P. G. Wodehouse? John Gardner? Apocryphal?

jeeves09Dear Quote Investigator: The popular and prolific humorist P. G. Wodehouse created indelible characters such as Bertie Wooster and Reginald Jeeves. Wodehouse apparently claimed that he was a remarkably precocious author:

I know I was writing stories when I was five.

I haven’t been able to find a solid citation for this. Would you please help?

Quote Investigator: The prominent literary journal “The Paris Review” published an interview with P. G. Wodehouse in the Winter 1975 issue. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

INTERVIEWER
Did you always know you would be a writer?

WODEHOUSE
Yes, always. I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t remember what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose. I was about twenty when I sold my first story, and I’ve been a full-time writer since 1902. I can’t think of myself as anything but a writer.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

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Notes:

  1. Winter 1975, The Paris Review, Number 64, P. G. Wodehouse, The Art of Fiction No. 60, Interviewed by Gerald Clarke, Paris Review, Inc., Flushing, New York. (Online archive of The Paris Review at theparisreview.org; accessed November 6, 2016) link