Spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sat Jul 5 15:56:43 EDT 2003

Jenne replied to my bijou rantette:

>> 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.

Always excepting the Germans.  He really didn't like them.  And before
them, the (Imperial) Russians...  Rivals and enemies rather than potential
allies and friends, I suppose.

>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.

That is probably the best explanation I've seen yet, as well.  Have you BTW
encountered the autobiographical work of Stalky, and of M'Turk?  They each
wrote a memoir, and each is very dull, I thought.

>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

If his evil imperialist name was mentioned at all.  I think at the places I
was at they'd've washed our mouths out with soap if we'd uttered it.  I
never did understand quite why, if they'd read his books, they felt that
way, or why, if they hadn't, they felt able to judge him.  *sigh*


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