Friday, December 18, 2009

Today Is Saki's Birthday

Today is Saki’s birthday. We had a story in our English text book in school by him, I don't remember which. Memory fails. (Before my critics claim I have Alzheimer's, let me clarify. No, neither has Alzheirmer's nor growing old has anything to do with it, I was always forgetful.) Hector Hugh Munro, better known by the pen name “Saki” satirised the Edwardian society and culture. Saki, according to some accounts, was the cupbearer in The Rubayat of Omar Khayyam, an ancient Persian poem. His stories were caricatures of people, making them look ridiculous. He was killed in World War I by a German sniper, and his famous last words were, "Put that damned cigarette out!"

He wrote books such as The Rise of the Russian Empire and When William Came. He shares more than a few similarities with Rudyard Kipling. Both were born in India, were brought up by strict aunts and both wrote about apparently bizzare subjects.

2 comments:

Shastri JC Philip said...

"Saki, according to some accounts, was the cupbearer in The Rubayat of Omar Khayyam, an ancient Persian poem."

Saki in Urdu (and Hindi) is the equivalent of "cupbearer"

Shastri Philip
www.ShastriPhilip.Com

ms said...

i have misplaced my copy of "tales of saki", i found them imaginative. i read kipling"s "debits and credit" regularly. sometimes, i feel i am stuck in a time-warp, all these old books and plastic-wrapped new authors. so reluctant to read the latest offerings since they lack the spirit of early writers - everything is artifice and wordsmithery.