Friday, May 30, 2014

R. Kipling

The neighbor and I had been talking over the fence.  As a result, he brought me Rudyard Kiplings "Just So Stories" and I lent the neighbor the original "Winnie The Poo" as a pledge.

I read almost the entire book, this morning, as well as the Wikipedia entry on the author and some other poems by him, such as "If".   My interest was raised chiefly by G. K. Chesterton who described Kipling as talented but "heretical" (in his book "Heretics", which we have been reviewing.) We see also that opinions on him diverged when looking at comments by T.S. Eliot and George Orwell.  Interesting also was that Kipling was a "Germanophobe" and an enthusiastic Freemason.  He also liked to use the Swastika until Hitler adopted it.  He quite freely engaged in this Germanophobia and even wrote propaganda.  I am thinking that this may have had very serious consequences, especially since he also promoted harsh treatment of Germany at Versailles, which, of course, was disastrous.

I must say that he was very "imaginative"--since Imagination seems to have become The buzz word.  One could even say that Kipling epitomizes it.  I must say, too, that I enjoyed the children's literature.  Here imagination is truly of some good use.  We Can see, however, that he is being deliberately "heretical".  (In adults, I find science fiction and over-powering drama not quite so endearing.  Not my taste.)  This active imagination may have been a mistake in his view of other peoples and cultures and his promotion of war.  The imagination and fiction may not be such a good tool in politics.  I wonder how much serious harm he did.

Maybe I can have a nice chat about it all with the neighbours, now that it is getting warmer and we are beginning to be out and about.

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