GCSE and GCE English Examinations are over and I am rewarding myself on a daily basis with the wittiest short story writer EVER!
As I have said in another post, Saki is the literary equivalent of a citrus sorbet on a hot summer’s day. You can read a Saki story in 10 minutes and enjoy a writer who refuses to succumb to narrative ‘filler’ or ‘stodge’.
In fact, there is something glittery and heartless about his writing, as if the film Kind Hearts and Coronets were transferred to the page. I do often read Saki aloud for the wonderful cadences of his style. And as I read him, I can ‘hear’ the velvety irony of Dennis Price, one of the stars of Kinds Hearts and Coronets with just a little purring hint from Joan Greenwood,the film’s very seductive but self seeking heroine.
I would also suggest that reading Saki cleanses the mind of life’s clogging cliches, as his artfulness is his surreal aplomb; he takes his readers by surprise and delivers epigrams that remove all reverence for established beliefs and restores to us(readers) our INSTINCTS!
So enough blather. Here are some of my favourite lines by Saki. Enjoy!
I found everyone talking nervously and feverishly of the weather and the war in South Africa, except Reginald, who was reclining in a comfortable chair with the dreamy, far-away look that a volcano might wear just after it had desolated entire villages. ( Reginald)
“The censorious said she slept in a hammock and understood Yeats’s poems, but her family denied both stories.” (Chronicles of Clovis)What do you think of human intelligence?” asked Mavis Pellington lamely.”Of whose intelligence in particular?” asked Tobermory coldly.”Oh, well, mine for instance,” said Mavis with a feeble laugh.
“You put me in an embarrassing position,” said Tobermory, whose tone and attitude certainly did not suggest a shred of embarrassment. “When your inclusion in this house-party was suggested Sir Wilfrid protested that you were the most brainless woman of his acquaintance, and that there was a wide distinction between hospitality and the care of the feeble-minded. Lady Blemley replied that your lack of brain-power was the precise quality which had earned you your invitation, as you were the only person she could think of who might be idiotic enough to buy their old car. You know, the one they call ‘The Envy of Sisyphus,’ because it goes quite nicely up-hill if you push it.” ( Tobermory)
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