Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The Byzantine Omelette by Saki
The story is about Sophie Chattel-Monkheim, a socialist from the upper-class. When a Duke visits her, she hires an omelette specialist. The said omelette specialist happens to be a strike-breaker, and, when her household servants find about this, they go on strike, as well.
I know the term “upper-class socialist” sounds like an oxymoron, but that’s what makes this story so fun. Sophie has a lot of ideas about equality between the classes and hating royalty, but, when a Duke stays at her house, she bends over backward just to please him.
Sophie, I think, is an excellent symbol for Saki’s views on human nature. We’re all a jumble of contradictions. A person can be innocent and malicious at the same time. We can be naïve with a hard edge.
The Byzantine Omelette was a fun read, and I can’t wait to read more Saki short stories. I still can’t decide, though, who’s the better writer between him and O. Henry.
You can read it here.