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- 1 Anti-Semite
- 2 Anti-Semitism 2
- 3 Get over it!
- 4 Spoilers
- 5 What's with the history?
- 6 What the Dickens?
- 7 Saki's antisemitism
- 8 antisemitism and homosexuality
- 9 The Pond
- 10 Avoidance of loaded adjectives
- 11 When William Came
- 12 Mrs Elmsley
- 13 Tried to clean up
- 14 controversy
- 15 Saki's residence, and the "roomlet which came under the auspicious constellation of W."
- 16 Pronunciation of 'Saki'
We need to document the claim that Saki was an anti-Semite; this is a damaging charge and should not be made without a clear lead back to the evidence. --seglea 07:02, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)
- I didn't intend to slander Saki, just to point out that he makes no effort to avoid the prejudices of his time, especially with regard to suffragettes (often) and Jews (occasionally). Aside from "The Unrest Cure", which plays on the idea of the then-current pogroms, there are throw-away lines in other stories. These are catty and sly, rather than genocidal in tone, but nonetheless are worthy of note, in the context of their time. One is to the effect that "the Jews are so kind to their poor -- and our rich". There are others, though I can't find them right now. He was much crueller to categories of women he disapproved of.
- BrainyBabe (how do I insert my sig and datestamp?)
- use ~~~~, i.e. 4 tildes (NB I've rearranged the above exchange to make the sequence clearer) --seglea 22:03, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
- Thank you Seglea. --BrainyBabe 22:50, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
- And why should he make an effort to avoid the prejudices of his time? As Steverapaport wrote below, Edwardian England and most of Europe was anti-women, anti-semitic, and anti-(most of everything else). If his stories reflect the norms of the time, it does not need special mention; rather you must mention it only if he depicted an ideal world different from the one that existed. Besides, it is usually not Saki as the author himself who makes any anti-Semite remarks, it is only his characters, most of whom Saki is making fun of, and showing as absurd. Shreevatsa 15:10, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
21:19, 19 September 2006 (UTC)The comments about Chesterton seem unneccessarily harsh. The Anti-Semitism portion of the Chesterton contradicts the impression that I get of Chesterton from the Saki article.
I don't know if Saki would have counted as an anti-Semite in his own time and context. His stories did contain occasional throw-away lines that would not be acceptable today; were he writing in 2004, I doubt if he would include them. In addition, there is one short story, "The Unrest Cure", that is problematic. I shall attempt to deal with this in my updates to the wiki article. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by BrainyBabe (talk • contribs) 15:59, 16 November 2004.
Get over it!
Ok, first let me say that I'm Jewish, and living in Europe, in probably the third-most anti-semitic country here. And yes it worries me.
That said, seeing anti-semitism everywhere leads only to paranoia and madness. Seeing misogyny everywhere is the same.
H.H. Munro was writing in Edwardian England, for chrissakes. The entire society was misogynistic (they were using social pressure and ridicule to prevent suffragettes from achieving votes for women), and pretty much all of Europe was unabashedly anti-semitic. The English were also anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim, anti-Hindu, and pretty much anti-anything else that wasn't Church of England.
The Unrest Cure is my favorite Saki story, and he clearly considers the "killing of the Jews" to be a patently ridiculous idea. It's intended to crack you up laughing, and it does. The two Jews he does mention in the story as potential victims are both presented as respectable pillars of the community, and the prospect of having "The Bishop and Colonel Alberti" plotting their demise in the drawing room is clearly intended to upset people in the story, to be "a blot on the 20th Century", not to generate approval.
Saki's humor is viciously satirical, but it tends to be pro-nature, pro-animal, and anti-establishment. (And anti-aunt.) In no way is it partisan to any religion or, for that matter, gender. Those who cry "Wolf" every time someone mentions a Jew or a Suffragette are simply damaging the cause for those on alert against real anti-semitism and misogyny. --Steverapaport 10:04, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)
- I certainly hadn't noticed any particular anti-Semitism in his stories, other than the general sort of ethnic humor which, while not harmless, was an ordinary part of U.S. and British culture at the time. In putting Jack London's racialism in context, I noted, for example, that in 1901 H. G. Wells wrote, in Anticipations,
- And for the rest, those swarms of black, and brown, and dirty-white, and yellow people, who do not come into the new needs of efficiency? Well, the world is a world, not a charitable institution, and I take it they will have to go.
- W. S. Gilbert in Ko-Ko's song includes "the banjo-serenaders and the others of his race" on his list of "society offenders who might as well be underground for they never would be missed."
This page gives away the endings of a number of Saki's stories, and I have therefore added the spoiler warning template. I know they're all fairly well known, but allowances should be made for those who have not yet had the pleasure. --Csernica 00:14, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
- Someone with an equal sense of propriety has peppered the quotations with links, a lure I imagine to distract the unwary to Wikilectures on Heaven or Hell. --Wetman 17:50, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
- Actually the extra links are mostly superfluous and distracting, IMHO, and blatantly contravene the Wikipedia guidelines on excess linkage. I hope they're removed by someone with a better sense of propriety.
- I have attempted to do so -- my first time at removing substantial amounts of material (albeit only links) from a Wikipedia page. So no more runaway cows but only a runaway cow. Thank you to the previous (anonymous?) poster in the line above this, who pointed me towards guidelines that say that common ordinary words should not be linked.
BrainyBabe 22:02, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
- Ooops, forgot to sign that comment. My name shows up too much on this page as it is :) I was the anonymous poster. Since you've started, BrainyBabe, I'll look and see if any more distracting blue can be removed. Thanks so much for the work! Steve Rapaport 18:18, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
- Ok, took me a few tries but I like it now. Steve Rapaport 18:37, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
What's with the history?
I don't know if this is a bug restricted to this article or others too, but clicking "Older revision" from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Saki&direction=prev&oldid=284217 (which has date 2001-11-07 12:37:51) takes me to http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Saki&direction=prev&oldid=284216 (which has date 2002-03-26 18:25:21). Further, the former one above (2001-11-07 12:37:51) is the oldest date I can find, but its edit summary looks like it's an edit/revert of an older article. What is the matter? Shreevatsa 10:28, 30 September 2005 (UTC)
- I'm not following you. The first link you have above goes to 7 November 2001, not a 2005 version. - DavidWBrooks 13:33, 30 September 2005 (UTC)
- That's what I said, isn't it? The first link above has date 2001-11-07 and is the oldest version, but clicking "Older Revision" from there takes you to a newer (2002) version, not an older revision. Anyway, drop the matter, I learnt from the user page of the conversion script that this bug was known. Maybe someone can tell the author of that bot to restore the history of this page.... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Shreevatsa (talk • contribs) 15:04, 3 October 2005.
What the Dickens?
"Basically Saki is like Charles Dickens......" I don't think this line should remain, or should at least be heavily qualified. It is a highly subjective opinion; which I for one don't share. I think Saki and Dickens' styles are very different. I personally think Saki is like a more bitter and twisted version of Wilde......but that's my opinion and I wouldn't present it as fact. -B.G. 13/10/05
- You're quite correct. It's gone. - DavidWBrooks 14:53, 13 October 2005 (UTC)
i just read the article on this guy and if you ask me he`s the british mark twain who agrees with me.
At present she's rather in a Balkan state of mind about the treatment of the Jews in Roumania. Personally, I think the Jews have estimable qualities; they're so kind to their poor- and to our rich.
- from Reginald on Worries, so you could ascribe it to Reginald rather than Saki himself. There's another story with a nasty tone- A Touch of Realism.
I don't think Saki was very antisemitic [nor was Buchan, actually- in The Three Hostages the villain is an archetypal "jew out to conquer the world", with Svengaliesque hypnotic powers except that he is a CofE conservative MP] and his attitude to the jews of eastern Europe- where jews faced real persecution- was sympathetic in his journalism. However, there is a long tradition in English literature of antisemitism as a convention- often an unthinking convention. Even radicals like Bage and Peacock were casually antisemitic in their books. I think Saki- like other writers then- assumed the same attitudes. Compare Belloc and Chesterton who made definite attempts to import European politico-religious antisemitism to Britain to see the difference in attitudes and assumptions. - found your remarks while I was looking up refs for another site discussing Saki's antisemitism, so what I wrote there seems appropriate. Another interesting book involving Edwardian antisemitism is Israel Rank by Roy Horniman, the basis for Kind Hearts and Coronets.
Roger Allen 08:09, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
antisemitism and homosexuality
Tidied and amended a little. Roger Allen 18:43, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
I'd just like to put in a good word for this little-known story, the first of six uncollected ones, a link to which is included at the end of the article. I think this is a neglected masterpiece (unlike the other five). It is exquisitely poised between tragedy and comedy, with a most moving resolution in favor of I won't tell you which.
- I agree. Most of the other five are deservedly forgotten, like much of his longer pieces of writing, but The Pond is good. BrainyBabe 13:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Avoidance of loaded adjectives
I welcome the addition of new material by an anonymous (probably new?) editor, and encourage this person to create an account. In addition to various small changes, I have stripped out the phrases praising the works added to the reference section (e.g. "A very useful and entertaining biography"), while retaining the works themselves. We can make value judgements on Saki's stories -- that they are witty or cynical or whatever -- only because we are reflecting the opinion of published commentators. Anything else would be original research, which Wikipedia avoids. We cannot write our own value judgements about Saki's work, or works about him. Again, thank you anonymous person for your contributions. BrainyBabe 09:31, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
- Frankly, I think you're being a bit too rigid, Brainy. You and I wrote our own value judgment about The Pond in the paragraph immediately above, didn't we? Yet you don't seem to have any problem with that--nor should you. It is, of course, carefully labeled as our opinion, and the fact that the story is linked to the article enables anyone to check it out and see whether or not they agree with us--just as anyone is free to check out the new editor's references and see whether they agree with his opinions about them. It is not as though he were submitting information without backing it up. Kostaki mou 05:58, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
- Welcome to Wikipedia! And thank you for creating an account -- it helps, among other things, keep track of who made what comment. Two things: one, have a look at WP:A, the policy on attribution, which supercedes those on original research and sources. Two, you are quite right that we editors have given our own opinions on the story above, but that's OK because this is a talk page, a place to discuss the article. Pretty much anything goes here, as long as it's civil -- spelling mistakes, typos, vociferous opinions, unsubstantiated facts, value judgements, etc. Rules and expectations on the article page are rather different. It is a fundamental distinction. Hope this helps. BrainyBabe 16:38, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
When William Came
I have reinserted some remarks about 'When William Came" which I first contributed on July 7 and which have been deleted. I intended only to expand the entry in a helpful fashion, and I'm not quite sure why anyone imagines it is their business simply to wipe them out. Peter Hitchens, signed in as Clockback 16:17, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
- Well, I for one see the added material as making the paragraph in question too long, and rather schizoid in feel. The material you added also feels a bit POV/original research to me, for whatever that's worth. I didn't take it out before, but I would definitely consider integrating this information into the article better, and making it more objective-sounding. --Wspencer11 (talk to me...) 16:31, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
- You may well be right about paragraph length, a subject on which I yield to anyone. As for better integration, please feel free to integrate as much as you like. I am not quite sure how one can seek to be 'objective' about describing the works of an author. My aim in making the contribution was to point out that the book is not an antique invasion scare, but an account of national subjugation with some timeless messages, whose tone is explained by a (too often) forgotten controversy of the time. I'd be only too happy to see further contributions stressing other aspects of the book. Short of reproducing the entire text at one extreme, or offering no summary or description at all at the other, any reference is bound to reflect the views of the person making it. I happen to be rather familiar with this book. Given that the site offers plot summaries of several of the short stories, sometimes longer than this reference to 'William', perhaps it ought to do the same for the full-length books, certainly 'William' and 'The Unbearable Bassington'. And perhaps that is where such material should be. I am not dogmatic. What I really objected to was the autocratic, unexplained deletion of the whole thing. Peter Hitchens, signed in as Clockback 14:22, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
- To Peter Hitchins -- thank you for discussing this on the talkpage. I didn't see this discussion, as no separate header was created to indicate a new section here. I have created one. The several sentences I removed run as follows:
- The book is not a crude scare story and is still well worth reading today. Much of it (like some of Kipling's pre-1914 poems) is a powerful argument for compulsory military service, about which there was then a major controversy. The scene in which an Imperial Rescript is announced in a subjugated London, excusing the unmilitary British from serving in the Kaiser's armies, is particularly bitter. There are also several telling vignettes, showing the profound difference between the English and continental systems of law, which have a great relevance today. The moment when the hero's hostess informs him that she must register his presence under her roof with the police, and the incident in which he is fined on the spot for walking on the grass in Hyde Park, are particularly striking. So is the episode in which he finds himself unintentionally but unavoidably fraternising with one of the invaders. This book, interestingly, is still in print in a French edition. perhaps French readers rather appreciate contemplating how the supercilious Anglo-Saxons might have coped had they come under German rule.
- This is unsourced criticism and thus in violation of the policy on original research. It is also, as you acknowledge, unbalanced in length. I welcome another knowledgeable Saki fan to Wikipedia, and would suggest you source your material (ie find reputable authors who agree with you, preferably literary critics or possibly historians writing in journals) and insert it into When William Came, not the overall Saki article. BrainyBabe 15:51, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
- PS In my first deletion of your passage, a week or so ago, I gave as an edit summary "remove unsourced digression on one novel -- this info could go to that book's page, if sourced", i.e. what I have said above. If in future you have any queries, please drop me a note on my talkpage, and I will try to help. BrainyBabe 15:54, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
- To Peter Hitchins -- thank you for discussing this on the talkpage. I didn't see this discussion, as no separate header was created to indicate a new section here. I have created one. The several sentences I removed run as follows:
- Erm, wouldn't the obvious solution to be be to create a section, in this entry, on the book? If one isn't allowed to refer to an author's books in the entry dealing with that author, then why does the entry contain summaries of several Saki short stories? Are these 'sourced criticism'? No, they're not. Nor is my 'unsourced digression'. But so what, exactly? The pernickety, bureaucratic twaddle about 'unsourced criticism' MIGHT apply if I were offering a literary judgement of the book, but I'm not. What I am actually doing is offering reasons to read it despite the fact that it is 97 years old and rather hard to find. I have written a couple of books myself, so can prove that I'm literate, have been reading and re-reading the Saki oeuvre since ( amazing as it now seems to me) several of his stories were televised on British commercial TV in the 1960s (in fact it now seems so amazing to me that I wonder if I am imagining it and also wonder if anyone has any information on these adaptations) and regard myself as just as qualified to offer opinions on these books as any 'reputable' critic, whatever that may be. I wasn't aware that one needed, or could obtain, a licence to have opinions on books. It's an enjoyable fancy for a dystopian novel, though. Wikipedia can be terribly self-regarding, sometimes. Who benefits from this brusque deletion? If you wish to help, I suggest you start by NOT going around deleting other people's constructive contributions, as if you were an encyclopaedic Police Officer. This isn't really in the spirit of the author we both seek to celebrate, is it? Peter Hitchens, signed in as Clockback 14:42, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
- Wikipedia isn't for "reasons to read it"; it isn't for your "opinions on books"; it's not for celebrating an author. It's for writing an NPOV, cited encyclopedia.--Prosfilaes 15:14, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
See what I mean about self-regarding, and bureaucratic? Actually, encyclopaedias seek to inform their readers and any entry about an author is bound to be, to some extent, a celebration in both senses of the word. As to how one can have or express a 'neutral point of view' about a novel, I'm not entirely sure. The concept is suspect anyway, but on a novel, even more so. Neutral between what and what, pray? Perhaps we should all get together to compose a short story, in the style of the late Mr Munro, about an encyclopaedia compiler who has a secret life as a police officer, or the other way round. Clockback 12:49, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
- I'd personally say it's more self-regarding to come to a project and try and do things the way you want them done then to try and do them the way the group working on the project has decided to do them. If you don't want to follow the most fundamental rules of the project, go found your own project.--Prosfilaes 13:06, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
- Wikipedia is remarkably self-policing, in fact, so we are all sort of "bobbies on the beat"; however, a better place to discuss the nature of Wikipedia is the Village Pump. As for this article, I acknowledge the especial sujectiveness of literary criticism (compared to, say, areas of medical research) but that does not mean any views can find a home here. I have no reason to doubt that you are indeed Peter Hitchens, but just put yourself in his shoes if he were to discover that someone was impersonating him here. For better or for worse, one's name in the real world does not add much weight in Wikipedia; contributions stay or go on their own merits, which includes whether they follow the rules. Think of them as the Highway Code, if that makes them more palatable; good drivers are ultimately not self-regarding but other-regarding.
- You point out correctly that a fair amount of space is given to summaries of some of Saki's short stories. I think a useful rule of thumb is that the space given to the works is roughly proportional to their importance in the overall article, in this case, a biography. Saki is known as a short story writer; his parliamentary sketches, foreign journalism, plays and even novels are not what he is remembered for, therefore it seems appropriate that his short stories are given more space here. The novels have their own articles, which you are welcome to contribute to. BrainyBabe 14:51, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
- I have never understood why the Internet is a masked ball. We are not Chinese dissidents, and I see no reason why people cannot contribute under their own names. To the person who uses the alias 'Prosfilaes' : I do not know what the 'group working on the project ' may be, or how one could become a member of it. Perhaps there is a Greek password or an initiation ceremony? However, it appears from the dismissive response to my contribution that there is indeed such a group patrolling this entry, and that this group resents any, ah, interlopers on what it regards as its territory. (The suggestion, by the way, that the material might be posted on the entry dealing with the book 'When William Came', is quite a good one. Why,in that case, has none of you actually done this simple thing, instead of just deleting the material? I should have been quite happy, and convinced of everyone's generous intentions, had someone done so and informed me that they had done so. But it was just bunged scornfully down the memory hole).
- I have emphatically not sought to 'try to do things the way I want them done' . I merely offered some additional material and, when it was first rejected, replaced it to make the point that I saw no good reason why it had been rejected. I haven't done so since, and hope only to persuade Saki's self-appointed, anonymous border police to let the material in, through persuasion. I still don't , actually, know why it has been rejected. The nonsensical argument that because Saki's short stories are better known they deserve to be summarised, whereas his longer works are less well-known and so don't deserve to be summarised, is a hoot. This is an encyclopaedia entry designed to inform those who seek to know more than they already do about something in which they are interested. Therefore surely it has a duty to provide more information about the less well-known than about the well-known? I didn't delete a word written by anyone else, nor would I presume to do so. That would be self-regard. I don't own the entry, and nor - and this is actually my complaint - does anyone else. To the person who employs the alias 'Brainybabe', don't you, who do not use your own name to post here, think it a little presumptuous and ridiculous to question the genuineness of my openly proclaimed (and easily checkable) identity? I deplore the Internet habit of concealing identity, and decline to use it. What possible aim could anyone serve by pretending to be someone else in order to offer an account of someone else's book to a Wikipedia entry? I am glad you accept that literary criticism is subjective, not that I was attempting any. When you say 'that does not mean that any views can find a home here', you raise the most important question. Which,or perhaps rather whose, views can find a home here? And who decides? Peter Hitchens, signed in as Clockback 14:12, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
- This is a talkpage to discuss improvements to the Saki article. See Wikipedia:Etiquette
- I know there exists a British political journalist called Peter Hitchens; I know there is a Wikipedia editor who created a pseudonymous account as User:Clockback and uses a long signature "Peter Hitchens, signed in as Clockback"; I do not have the ability to check that these are the same person. (Perhaps system administrators do, I don't know.) I do not presume that these are not the same person, I merely assert that I do not have the ability to confirm that they are. I know that if I or anyone created an account under the name of another political journalist and started editing as them, they might very well be annoyed.
- By the way, there is a difference between anonymous and pseudonymous editing. (See Wikipedia:Username policy). Thank you also for recognising that articles do not "belong" to anyone (see Wikipedia:Ownership of articles). "If you do not want your material to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it." -- as it says at the bottom of every editing page.
- This seems to me of a length appropriate to the article, with clear links to the article on the novel itself and to those about its political and literary context. Please clarify what you wish to change about this. BrainyBabe 07:54, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
- Oh, honestly. This really is too dull and too silly. How Hector Munro would have laughed. I shall leave you alone and wish you joy of it. Good Day to You. Peter Hitchens, signed in as Clockback 20:44, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Someone claimed that this novel, published in 1911 by Hector Munro, is by Saki. There are very good reasons to doubt this claim. The main bases for it are an allegation by the aged and famously untruthful Montague Summers in The Galanty Show and an article in the TLS in 2003 pointing out trivial similarites. Against it are the following facts: the remarkable differences in subject matter and style between it and Saki's own books, in 1911 Saki was publishing as often as ever, so had little time to write another otherwise unknown book, when he did publish under his own name it was as H. H. Munro or as Hector Hugh Munro, but never by his frst name alone, and the fact that no-one who knew or claimed to know Saki but Summers, over thirty years after Saki's death, ever suggested that he wrote it. Until there is more reliable evidence we should not consider this one of Saki's own books.Roger Allen (talk) 23:53, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Tried to clean up
I've added a couple of tags and cleaned up some of the POV, but a lot remains. The bane of Wikipedia is essays and school papers posted as articles.
Here's the tag about literary criticism:
||This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject.|
"Do not write articles that present your own original theories, opinions, or insights, even if you can support them by reference to accepted work." This is not a guideline but official POLICY. It means that it is NOT all right to hunt for someone else who shares your interpretation, then cite them as a reference. The "Controversy section," beginning with the weasel words "Some believe," really should be completely deleted. Please, stick only to fact. — J M Rice (talk) 16:06, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
The "European watering holes" were mot drinking establishments but- literally- watering holes where people bathed in mineral waters at therapeutic baths. I've changed the term to spas to make misunderstanding impossible- I hope. I've also restored my remark about Ethel Munro- one thing everyone who wrote about Saki from personal experience remarks on is Ethel's personaliy, Saki's friendship with her and how surprising that was and her toleration and love of her brother so it isn't POV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Roger Allen (talk • contribs) 17:13, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
- I have cleaned up the crap about anti-semitism by attributing both the pro- and anti-argument to published writers with links. Perhaps Roger you could do the same for Ethel's personality, and then we could see the weasel templates removed? Steve Rapaport (talk) 01:34, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I removed the line
because it makes no sense unless he was anti-semitic. Even if we make a really extreme effort to be broad-minded and take this slander seriously it has to be treated as something "controversial" not something that is fact.
I also cleaned up the part about alleged "misogyny" a little bit trying to keep the core idea without the bizarre speculation about "childless women". His aunt was crazy and abusive and he hated her in a way that comes out often in his writing. He hated her because she was abusive to him, not because he cared about whether or not she had children of her own.
As for the anti-semitism, if anyone seriously cares about this I would suggest that you read "The Unrest Cure" since it's actually about anti-semitism. If he was going to let slip anything anti-semitic it would be there. You must keep in mind two things: 1) In polite upper-middle-class England in the 1900s pogroms were a thing of the past. Saki's readers did not know that the holocaust would happen 40 years later. They only knew that violence against Jews had been decreasing since long before they were born. 2) Many of Saki's stories juxtaposed middle-class England with the more chaotic and violent circumstances of places he had been to like Burma, India, the Balkans, or the Middle East. "The Unrest Cure" follows this formula. The pogrom is something extremely violent that was happening at the time but far away from the tranquil English setting that Saki inserts it into. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abu America (talk • contribs) 10:06, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Saki's residence, and the "roomlet which came under the auspicious constellation of W."
I hadn't meant to offend or cause controversy when I edited out this reference, but it is based on a misreading of Saki's story "Adrian". The context of the reference in the story makes it clear that the East End slum of Whitechapel, adjoining the equally insalubrious Bethnal Green (mentioned in the previous sentence)is what is meant, rather than the West End's postal district. This is an great example of Saki's sarcasm. Adrian's residence is not in an auspicious location at all, and 'roomlet' means just that; it's not at all like the comfortable bachelor lodgings in which Munro lived. "Adrian" is about the merry destruction a clever boy from the London slums wreaks when unknowingly taken up by members of Edwardian moneyed society, and the whole plot hinges on their ignorance of his origins and background (note how cleverly the author allows Lucas Croyden to almost let slip Adrian's mother's residence in Bethnal Green, but then check himself just in time - it sets up the punch line of the story.) Saki's characters and bright young men (Reginald,Clovis and their ilk) often do have lives, backgrounds, and residences illustrative of his own life, but the title character in "Adrian" is not among that group, and nothing could be further from Munro's own living situation or millieu. Again, I had no desire to offend (I'm new to this), but I'm really pretty sure about this one. 220.127.116.11 (talk) 20:32, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
- I think you're right; that's how the story seems to me as well. Whatever the "auspicious constellation of W" might be, it seems fairly clear it's not "the postal district of the West End of London, where the fashionable set lived in Edwardian times". Shreevatsa (talk) 21:09, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
- Ah. The story seems rather different to me. Anyway, 66, no offence caused at all; we like a bit of well-informed debate here. It would help if you created an account, so we can see who's contributing what; sometimes ISP numbers change. For ease of reference, the sentence removed runs as follows:
- Here is the introduction to Adrian:
- His mother lived in Bethnal Green, which was not altogether his fault; one can discourage too much history in one's family, but one cannot always prevent geography. And, after all, the Bethnal Green habit has this virtue--that it is seldom transmitted to the next generation. Adrian lived in a roomlet which came under the auspicious constellation of W.
- It seems clear that he has left his mother, Bethnal Green, and by extension the East End, well behind him, and has managed to find a tiny room in the W postcode area of London. No doubt the postal boundaries have changed over a hundred years, but this is west, and central-ish, London, if not literally the West End. The whole point is that his family's circumstances no longer define his: Bethnal Green was not transmitted to Adrian. It never occured to me that "W[est]" was Saki-code for "E[ast]". Can you come up with any similar examples in other stories? Also, you seem very specific and sure that the "context of the reference in the story makes it clear that the East End slum of Whitechapel <snip>is what is meant." What makes you think it is Whitechapel that is intended? It is of course true that the circumstances of Saki were comfortable, if not as lavish as Clovis et al, and nowhere near those of Adrian:
- How he lived was to a great extent a mystery even to himself; his struggle for existence probably coincided in many material details with the rather dramatic accounts he gave of it to sympathetic acquaintances.
- How he paid for the roomlet is unstated; I would incline to the Hyde Park solution, but that really would be speculation. BrainyBabe (talk) 11:30, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Pronunciation of 'Saki'
Do we know for a fact how Saki is to be pronounced? For context, A. A. Milne was confused too:
It may have been my uncertainty (which still persists) whether he called himself Sayki, Sahki or Sakki which made me thus ungenerous of his name
--Introduction, The Chronicles of Clovis by Saki, 1911
- from "Adrian" in The Chronicles of Clovis