The Unbearable Bassington, by Saki
Posted by Constanza on August 25, 1998 at 17:24:33:
If you like dark humour, you'll love this novel. Saki is a caustic observer, and all his characters are self-centered egotistics, but he has a way with words that is certainly very funny (except for the last four or five chapters, where he certainly turns more melodramatic and bitter; not an ounce of humour there).
Aren't these two paragraphs simply wonderful?
"Fate had endowed her with a son; in limiting the endowment to a solitary offspring Fate had certainly shown a moderation which Francesca was perfectly willing to acknowledge and be thankful for; but then, as she pointed out to a certain complacent friend of hers who cheerfully sustained an endowment of half-a-dozen male offsprings and a girl or two, her one child was Comus. Moderation in numbers was more than counterbalanced in his case by extravagance in characteristics."
"Francesca was, in her own way, fonder of Comus than of anyone else in the world, and if he had been browning his skin somewhere east of Suez she would probably have kissed his photograph with genuine fervour every night before going to bed; the appearance of a cholera scare or rumour of native rising in the columns of her daily news-sheet would have caused her a flutter of anxiety, and she would have mentally likened herself to a Spartan mother sacrificing her best-beloved on the altar of State necessities. But with the best-beloved installed under her roof, occupying an unreasonable amount of cubic space, and demanding daily sacrifices instead of providing the raw material for one, her feelings were tinged with irritation rather than affection. She might have forgiven Comus generously for misdeeds of some gravity committed in another continent, but she could never overlook the fact that out of a dish of five plovers' eggs he was certain to take three. The absent may be always wrong, but they are seldom in a position to be inconsiderate."
The novel is at Gutenberg
- Link: Gutenberg Project index
- i adore this man dancer 19:19:41 9/03/98 (0)
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