“You’re talking rather through your hat when you speak of feeding on hares”

SAKI: Gabriel-Ernest

A story of registerable ‘childflesh’ cannibalism and of rereleasing the Beast after T.H. White’s story hunted it down earlier in this anthology. This one is about a naked boy found in the wood that a shameful relishing by a maiden aunt made her quick later to cover up this foundling’s nudity — and about a man named Van Cheele who sought a second sighting of this creature from one called Cunningham…before they could make us make-believe it, too.
This possessed the je ne sais quoi of Daphne Du Maurier’s The Pool — and the innuendo of Sarban: another writer with a single name beginning with S. The lostling or changeling child called Toop may have been a Hyde-away of an alter id or nemo anyway?

“‘You’re talking rather through your hat when you speak of feeding on hares.’ (Considering the nature of the boy’s toilet the simile was hardly an apt one.)”


“The nemo is an evolutionary force, as necessary as the ego. The ego is certainty, what I am; the nemo is potentiality, what I am not. But instead of utilizing the nemo as we would utilize any other force, we allow ourselves to be terrified by it, as primitive man was terrified by lightning. We run screaming from this mysterious shape in the middle of our town, even though the real terror is not in itself, but in our terror at it.”
– John Fowles (from ‘The Necessity of Nemo’ in ‘The Aristos’ 1964)

Cf My review of Saki’s Sredni Vashtar here: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/weird-a-compendium-of-dark-and-strange-stories/
And of his THE WOLVES OF CERNOGRATZ here: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2021/05/04/the-4th-fontana-book-of-great-ghost-stories-edited-by-robert-aickman/#comment-21690

Full Penguin Anthology context of this review: https://etepsed.wordpress.com/1207-2/


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