Saturday, November 13, 2010

More tangents

"All hunting stories are the same," said Clovis; "just as all Turf stories are the same, and all--"
"My hunting story isn't a bit like any you've ever heard," said the Baroness.

I've been fond of the short stories of H.H. Munro, aka Saki, since I discovered them in my college library. During the hours I should have been studying, partying, or (probably) reading books that actually were part of my English classes, I read him instead. There was something mesmerizing about those highly artificial stories, so many of them just little constructions around a wasp sting from his constant narrators, Clovis Sangrail and Reginald.

Saki's characters tended not to go near horses - knowing, apparently, that horses can reduce the most elegantly self-possesed human to sweating, ineffectual mania in under thirty seconds. In the story The Rogue, however, a horse plays a pivotal role in a newlywed's life. And in Esme, Saki makes a wholly unique contribution to the genre of fox-hunting fiction. Esme is also featured in a collection of horse stories, Classic Horses Stories: Fourteen Timeless Horse Tales, edited by Steven D. Price.

"It sounds a queer proceeding to ask for a horse back when you've just sold him," said Mrs. Mullet, "but something must be done, and done at once. The man is not used to horses, and I believe I told him it was as quiet as a lamb. After all, lambs go kicking and twisting about as if they were demented, don't they?"
The Rogue

The Brogue - Beasts And Super Beasts
Esme - The Chronicles Of Clovis

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