Our literary pick for the month of September for Kat’s Books & Wine Club is Silent Snow, Secret Snow, one of Kat’s OG favourites back from the time she blogged, author Conrad Aiken’s best-known short story.
The story tells of a boy named Paul Hasleman, who finds it increasingly difficult to pay attention to his classwork, and grows more distant from his family. He is, instead, becoming more and more entranced by daydreaming about snow. This began when he was lying in bed one morning, awaiting the approach of the postman. Unable to hear the expected footfalls, the boy imagines that they have been muffled by newly fallen snow, and is surprised when he looks out the window and discovers that there is no snow on the ground.
Paul’s increasing distance and indifference to the world around him alarms his parents. He has to struggle to get dressed and converse with others, because of the allure of his daydream about snow. They eventually call in a physician, who makes a house call to examine Paul. After revealing that he likes to think about snow, Paul tears himself away from the meeting with the physician and retires to his room. When his mother pursues him, he tells her “Go away… I hate you!”, and is lost in the dreamworld of the snow.