The Diary of a Nobody

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    Tempo libero, Umorismo

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The Diary of a Nobody is an English comic novel written by the brothers George and Weedon Grossmith, with illustrations by the latter. It originated as an intermittent serial in Punch magazine in 1888–89 and first appeared in book form, with extended text and added illustrations, in 1892. The Diary records the daily events in the lives of a London clerk, Charles Pooter, his wife Carrie, his son William Lupin, and numerous friends and acquaintances over a period of 15 months.

The diary begins on 3 April of an unstated year, and runs for approximately 15 months. In a short prologue, readers are informed that Charles Pooter and his wife Caroline (Carrie) have just moved to a new home at "The Laurels", Brickfield Terrace, Holloway. Mr Pooter is a City of London clerk with Perkupps, possibly an accountancy or private banking firm (though their business is not explicitly stated). The couple's 20-year-old son William works as a bank clerk in Oldham. The first entries describe the Pooters' daily lives and introduce their particular friends, such as their neighbour Gowing, the enthusiastic bicyclist Cummings, and the Jameses from Sutton. From the beginning a pattern is set whereby the small vexations of the Pooters' daily lives are recounted, many of them arising from Pooter's unconscious self-importance and pomposity. Trouble with servants, tradesmen, and office juniors occur regularly, along with minor social embarrassments and humiliations.

The rare formal social events in the Pooters' lives are particular magnets for misfortune. They receive an invitation from the Lord Mayor of London to attend a ball at the Mansion House for "Representatives of Trade and Commerce". After days of keen anticipation they are dismayed, when they arrive, to find that the gathering is undistinguished. Pooter is snobbishly upset to be greeted familiarly by his local ironmonger, even more so when this tradesman appears to be on social terms with some of the more important guests. Pooter overindulges in champagne and humiliates Carrie by collapsing on the dance floor.

In the summer their son arrives from Oldham and informs his parents that he wishes henceforth to be called by his middle name, "Lupin." He has been dismissed from his bank post for idleness; although dismayed, Pooter sees this as a chance to get his son into Perkupps. Lupin joins the couple for their annual holiday week in Broadstairs, but relationships are strained by Lupin's "fast" habits. On their return, Pooter's efforts to find Lupin a job at first prove fruitless. The boy is interested in amateur dramatics and joins an organisation called the "Holloway Comedians". With the help of Pooter's employer Mr. Perkupp, Lupin finally secures a clerical position with a firm of stockbrokers in November. He then shocks his parents by announcing his engagement.

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