Beth DeSchryver will lead a discussion of The Open Window by H. H. Munro (aka Saki).
Some claim that flash fiction is a modern form, but Munro was writing concise, high-impact stories of less than 1500 words over 100 years ago.
What is fascinating is how he can create distinct characters and multiple, vivid stories within the story frame with such economy. We will look at structure (how he chunks things) and character creation (selective use of detail, manipulation of the reader’s interpretation) and… enough said. It would give too much away.
Saki is considered a master of the short story, on par with O. Henry and Dorothy Parker. His work is often mischievous and satirical regarding society, but he also explores themes of conflict in and with nature. But “The Open Window” doesn’t quite fit into either category, although you could argue it has a bit of both. It was included in the last collection of short stories published in his lifetime, Beasts and Superheroes (1914) available for free download at Project Gutenberg.
Beth DeSchryver is a long-time member of OCWW. Her latest story, “Nameless Child,” is included in the OCWW Turning Points Anthology.