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Thread: Question about Saki's work

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    Question about Saki's work

    Hi everybody. I have some questions about saki's works.

    One is from "The image of the lost soul".
    There is a following description.

    "Every evening it crept trustfully into its corner against the stone breast of the image, and the
    darkling eyes seemed to keep watch over its slumbers."

    What does darkling mean? Does it mean that it was getting dark and became difficult to see everything? Or does it mean that the the image gave a brooding eye?

    Another is from "Clovis on the alleged romance of business".
    At the last of the story there is the following description.

    "He is buried by the thousand in Kensal Green and other
    large cemeteries"

    Maybe, it is strange to interpret as the thousand people buried his bone in Kensal Green AND other
    large cemeteries. Does it mean that his bone is burred in the same way as thousand people who are buried in Kensal Green or other large cemeteries?

    Could you please give me some advice?

  2. #2
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    I haven't read either of these stories. These are just my guesses.

    I am unfamiliar with the word "darkling", but it sounds mildly ominous and yet soothing. The eyes may be too dark to actually keep watch over anything.

    Being "buried by the thousand" suggests to me that there are already a thousand people buried in the cemetery, however, "and other large cemeteries" makes me wonder if it is just another way of saying he was buried in a large cemetery.

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    And here was me thinking that Saki was a Scandinavian fashion design - House of Saki.

  4. #4
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Nice poem by Hardy. I'm going to have to include "darkling" in my vocabulary.

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    Thanks, everyone. All your answers are helpful to me. Hardy's poem is difficult, but impressive.

  7. #7
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    The phrase "he is buried by the thousand" is not literal as one man can't be buried by the thousand.

    I don't know the context but it sounds as if it if referring to a representative man, such as are buried all over the place.

    The reference to Kensal Green, a major cemetery in a rather grotty bit of North West London, is bathos to stop the rhetoric sounding too impressive, and to emphasis how many trivial and mundane circumstances surrounded ordinary death.

    Or so I imagine.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Yes, that's a nice poem by Thomas Hardy. JonathanB's comment on Kensal Green Cemetery is spot on. My father's ashes were there.

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    Thank you very much, JonathanB and Dreamwoven. Kensal Green became more familiar to me.

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    Hello, everyone!

    I have other questions about Saki's "The saint and the goblin".

    You can read it by The Project Gutenberg eBook, Reginald in Russia, by Saki.
    (Very sorry, I tried to past the URL but denied.)

    In this story, vergeress's words are difficult to me, so could you help me?

    “Well, if it ain’t there, sure enough!” said the vergeress next morning.

    --> Does it mean that the vergeress was surprised to find the coin really and realize that it is the true dream?

    “who’d have thought it! A saint, too!
    --> Does it mean that even a saint could not have such a good idea?

    “The only possible explanation,” said the Goblin, “is that it’s a bad one.”
    --> Is it the Goblin's murmur "How stupid of the vergeress to do such a thing"?

  11. #11
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I've been looking up the history of Kensal Green Cemetery. It was founded comparatively early for a London cemetry in the 1830s at which time there would have been open farmland nearby. There were a couple of royal burials and it was a fashionable place to be buried.

    http://www.kensalgreencemetery.com/index.html


    The surrounding area was built up later and was never a fashionable place to live, although probably not as down at the heel as recently. (Although it has probably come up in the world in the last ten years as anything within five miles of central London has become an area where only the well off or professional can afford to live.)
    Last edited by Jackson Richardson; 03-27-2016 at 01:08 PM.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  12. #12
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I've read the story now, and I will admit that I'm not sure whether the coin is a valuable one or not.

    "Well, if it ain't there, sure enough!" means she is impressed that her dream was true and there was indeed a coin where the dream said it was.

    I think that she then tests the coin and finds it is valueless and hangs it up rather than spend it. "A saint too!" means she would not have expected a saint to direct her to a valueless coin,

    In which case, the goblin has the right idea.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  13. #13
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    The Saki short story you should read if you haven't already is Sredni Vashtar.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanB View Post
    The Saki short story you should read if you haven't already is Sredni Vashtar.
    http://www.online-literature.com/hh-munro/1891/

    And it's here on the site
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    Thank you for your very useful advice, JonathanB. I could gain a better understanding of the story. Also, the Kensal Green Cemetery web site is very interesting.
    I read the Sredni Vashtar before. It was a scary story.

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