Spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling (was Re: HP review)

jenne at fiedlerfamily.net jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
Fri Jul 4 11:34:04 EDT 2003


> >Part of my thoughts on that come from reading and re-reading Stalky & Co
> >(Kipling) as well as Kipling's other coming of age stories, along with
> >commentary on such stories.
>
> Please do not take what follows as being personally aimed at you.  It
> isn't.  It's wot I sed in the subject line, ok?  I've even been good and
> left it a few hours so I can recollect it in tranquility.

Oh, I agree completely. My BA thesis was on the treatment of the Other in
Kipling, and I concluded that in most cases he revered the Other more than
those of his own race, culture, class and caste.

> >Speaking of _Them_ have you ever come across the poem _We and They_ by
> >Kiping of all people?
>
> Why "of all people"?  That's a serious question.  Of all people, Kipling
> probably *listened* more to everyone he met, travelled more widely and
> therefore met more, and more various, people, and had a wider view of
> humanity, than any I have encountered whether in literature or in life.
> It's surely reasonable that he would admit that the local mores of his own
> tribe were not the only mores that worked, given how many other sets he had
> encountered and seen to be working quite well thankyou

Yes and no. I admire Kipling as a writer and I think he respected people
of other cultures than his own. However, his involvement with and
championing of Rhodes was very problematic, and I don't really respect
that. Now, I can understand how people react to things out of their very
strong cultural backgrounds, and the best explanation I've ever seen for
the Rhodes mess was that Kipling, at heart, was still the Beetle of the
Stalky books, and when, in his worse moments of his adult years, he
encountered a Stalky, he was predisposed to believe rather than think
about what was going on.

So, I've come to my own conclusions about Kipling and politics, and I
figure everyone else needs to too-- but I'm aware that most people see
Kipling as jingoist and bigoted because that is what they were taught in
school.

-- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika   jenne at fiedlerfamily.net
"I know. You know I know. I know you know I know. We know Henry knows, and
Henry knows we know it. *smiles* We're a knowledgable family." -- _Lion in
Winter_

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