Saki’s “The Recessional”

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For my first short story in my Deal Me In: 2014 project, I picked the Ace of Diamonds which corresponds to Saki’s short story, “The Recessional”.

According to Wikipedia, Saki is the pen name of Hector Hugh Munro, a British author who lived and wrote around the turn of the Twentieth Century.  Wikipedia also mentioned that Rudyard Kipling (among others) influenced Saki’s writing and I would add that “The Recessional” shows the Kipling influence in a big way.

Saki

Clovis Sangrail is the author of the poem referenced in the story’s title.  The bulk of the story consists of some rather humorous critique of the poem by Bertie van Tahn.  The names of the two characters are Kipling-esque as well as the poem itself: much ado about elephants and the Himalayas.  I enjoyed the witty banter between Bertie and Clovis but that’s the extent of the story.  No real resolution occurs.

This may not be my favorite story but I would be willing to give Saki another try.  In my research, I realized that he wrote a story called “The Interlopers”.  I have a vague recollection of reading this story when I was in sixth grade.  If my memory serves me right, “The Interlopers” has a Jack London feel to it along with a surprise ending – which could warrant a re-read in the near future.

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5 responses to “Saki’s “The Recessional”

  1. Hi Dale,
    I have a “collected stories of Saki” on my shelf somewhere. I’ve read a couple of them over the years but they didn’t quite grab me (this was the “Pre-Blogging Jay” though, so maybe I’d like them more now). I’ll have to dig out that volume (I have an almost full small bookshelf of nothing but anthologies and writers’ short story collections now).

    I’ll be publishing my first weekly DMI2014 post tomorrow (I’ve already written it, but plan to post consistently on Sundays in case our little group wants to fall into a rhythm. I will be linking back to any new posts each week by the other participants at the TOP of my post (I think I said bottom in my sign up post, but wanted to make them more visible). Did you see we have two more participants who have created their rosters? I think that’s six or seven now, with a couple possibles. Maybe this challenge can grow into a mini-institution over the years… 🙂
    -Jay

    • Jay, Saki probably won’t be making regular appearances on my blog, but I will probably read The Interlopers soon just to see what I might remember.

      I was thinking about posting on Saturdays. Would this work for you since it’s prior to Sunday? I can post whenever is convenient. Thanks for organizing this. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun! It’s exciting that’s it’s starting to take off.
      -Dale

  2. Pingback: Deal Me in 2014 weekly wrap up (and my selection, “Miracle Polish” by Steven Milhauser) | Bibliophilopolis

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