Sunday 13 November 2016

Remembering Saki on the Centenary of his Death

Hector Hugh Munro died 100 years ago tomorrow. I'm pleased to say that I'm far from the only one marking Saki's centenary.

The BBC put together an excellent 3-hour celebration of stories and new documentary material on Radio 4 Extra. It's available on iPlayer for the next month, and, as is the way of Radio 4 Extra, will probably pop up again and again in the months to come.

You can listen to it here.

Since 2007, Richard Crowest has been uploading his readings of Saki's stories to the web. They're also available as free podcasts, and from a quick sampling, they are very good indeed. They are available on iTunes, or via his website here. Mr Crowest is doing a live show of Saki stories on the centenary itself, at the Leicester Square Theatre:

A Century of Saki, Leicester Square Theatre, Monday 14 November 2016, 7pm

You can book tickets here, and read the press release here. (I've only just found out about this event, otherwise I would have been plugging it for a while! I wish I could be there...)

The Guardian noted the centenary in their Week in Books column on the 12th, and made this laudable comment:

"If only Saki were still alive. The age of Trump needs his brutal dismantling of human stupidities."

The Guardian's piece also has quotes from two famous fans, worth repeating here:

"In all literature, he was the first to employ successfully a wildly outrageous premise in order to make a serious point. I love that. And today the best of his stories are still better than the best of just about every other writer around." – Roald Dahl

"Saki's stories are highly relevant to any society in which convention is confused with morality, and all societies confuse convention with morality, so he'll always be relevant." – Will Self

Kirkus Reviews remembers Saki here.

The Saki Centenary Facebook page is here.

Details of a 'lost' Saki story now reprinted as a limited edition are here.

The blissfully perfect combination of Tom Baker reading Sredni Vashtar can be enjoyed here.

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