Jan 3, 2015

Saki: Gay Writer of Savage Humor

When you google "Saki," this picture comes up.;I don't know why.   As far as I know, Saki, aka Hector Hugh Monro (1870-1916) never posed nude.           

You also get this picture.  But as far as I know, Saki was never a professional wrestler.  He was a writer of the aesthete-decadent school, along with Oscar Wilde and Kenneth Grahame.  His savagely humorous stories critiqued Edwardian society, especially the glorification of the heterosexual nuclear family.      

His most famous story is "The Open Window," about a girl who tells a visitor that her father and brother died in a hunting accident three years ago, but her deranged mother always leaves the window open for them, believing that they are coming home.  Then the visitor sees them walking across the yard!  I read it as a kid, in a collection of ghost stories, and thus didn't realize that the girl was playing a joke.          

You probably didn't know that Saki was gay.  Wikipedia demurs, as usual, saying that he may have been gay, but there's no doubt about it.  He took his pen name from a cupbearer in the Rubayat of Omar Khayyam: a beautiful youth, the object of desire.  He introduced a pair of coded gay characters, Reginald and Clovis.  He liked cruising. According to his biographer, he had a hookup every two days, or if he was especially busy, every three days.  That's a lot more action than anyone gets today.  Cruising must have been a lot easier then.   See also: The Wind in the Willows.