Rudyard Kipling (MCV) (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
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inflamed with a "notion that would make the most splendid story that was ever written." As his story haltingly unfolds, the narrator realizes that what Charlie Mears is recalling arc in fact past experiences in previous incarnations: when he was a slave on the lowest deck of a Greek galley, and later when he served on a Viking ship that went to America. When the narrator repeats this talc to a llindu friend, he is told that such remembrances do occur, though usually "the door is shut," but that
vulnerability to loss and death, his characters make success a compensatory protective fetish. In the absence of any coherent religious or institutional address to death, Kipling suggests, modern failure-especially in love and in work-is a personal death, as if it were a likeness of the ultimate loss and vulnerability that are to be shunned and denied. Kipling's novel records a world and an era in which failure and death alike have become, as it were, unacceptable. The typical psyches of the
but he goes on to say that he finally had to stop his observation of the war for reasons he can only cloud over. "We came to fear something more complicated than death, an annihilation less final but more complete, and we got out .... If you stayed too long you became one of those poor bastards who had to have a war on all the time"-presumably because the "something more complicated than death" insists on generating war "all the time." In Kipling's light llerr might have seen that it is the
Oxford Union. So it is surely arguable that Kipling grew up saturated in Pre-Raphaelite culture, whose greatest poet was Swinburne and one of whose saints of art had been Blake. The biography of Kipling by Lord Birkenhead describes Kipling's celebrity in London in 1890 in terms that starkly contrast Kipling with Wilde, Beardsley, and the aesthetes, themselves the cultural offspring of Pre-Raphaelitism. But C. E. Carrington's biography keeps closer to the truth. At school, he tells us, Kipling
Association, edited by H. Idris Bell et al. 1948. Reprint. Millwood, N.Y.: Associated Faculty Press, 1970. McLuhan, Herbert Marshall. "Kipling and Forster." The Sewanee Review 52, no. 3 (Summer 1944): 332-43. 149 150 BIBLIOGRAPHY .\lason, Philip. Kipling: The Glass, the Shadow and the Fire. London: Jonathon Cape, 1975 . .\leyers, Jeffrey. "The Idea of Moral f\uthority in The Man Who Would Be King." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 8, no. 4 (Autumn 1968): 711-23 . .\loore, Katharine.