‘The Open Window’ by Saki

I also have very clear memoirs of Saki’s story ‘The Open Window’. Like the ‘The Lumber Room’ it is largely a story about lying. It is also about the subversive and disruptive nature of the child. At the time when I read it, I already had a sense of myself as a person who could wreak havoc if I ever opened my mouth. As a result, I spoke little but ‘The Open Window’ allowed me to savour the power I might have if I chose to speak. I lived the events of the story vicariously. I could have my revenge, the story suggested. But I preferred to allow the adults their silly little games. Like Saki’s children, I was not a pleasant child.

First published in The Westminster Gazette, 1911. Collected in Beasts and Super-Beasts, John Lane, 1914, and Complete Short Stories, Penguin Modern Classics, 2000. Available online here

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