The Unbearable Bassington

The Unbearable Bassington

The Unbearable Bassington

The Unbearable Bassington

Excerpt

Saki'S works were the prelude to his work, which was to live and die in the war.

The Unbearable Bassington seems to me the key of that work as well as of all his works. "Bassington," an acute critic once wrote to me, "is what Saki might have become and mysteriously didn't."

It is, for this reason I think, the most interesting, because the most serious and most deeply felt, just as from a literary point of view, it is likewise the most "important," because the most artistically executed of his books.

It is a tragic story; and it might have deserved as a work of art a still higher place, among the Tragedies of fiction, with Tourgene's Fathers and Sons; Meredith's Feverel; Maupassant's Une Vie, had there been in the book -- for the story is as tragic as possible -- a stronger dose of that without which a tragedy is not a tragedy: pity. But in the category of books that deal with the misfits, failures, misunderstandings and the minor . . .

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