Kipling, Rudyard. (1865 - 1936).
W o r k
- preocuppied with India, the most important colony of the British empire, in the final decades of the 19th century
- retained the detachment of a European outsider x but: tried to see India from inside and portray the Indians with understanding
- often seen as a popular apologist for “The White Man’s Burden” of imperialism x but: perceptive to the anomalies of the British Raj
- a master of the short story: wonderful ear for dialect, economy of style, complex irony
- a deliberately ‘plain’ style, seemingly flat and coarse when compared to the stylistic refinements of the Aesthetes or Modernists
- a commonsensical, almost proverbial, philosophy
> the first English writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature (1907)
F i c t i o n :
Plain Tales from the Hills (1888):
- a collection of short stories
- concerned with the psychological and moral problems of the Anglo-Indians and their relationship with the people they had colonised
Jungle Books (1894, 1895):
- draws on his own experience of India to create a world of jungle animals
- his only successful novel
- a large-scale attempt at multi-focusing: allows for many voices and conflicting traditions
- Kim, the orphan son of an Irish colour-sergeant, wanders both geographically and culturally, serves both a Tibetan Lama as his disciple and the British Secret Service as a spy
- the contemplative and religious way of life of the Indians is treated with no less sympathy than the active and worldly way of life in England
“The Man Who Would Be King”:
- a short story about soldiers as pragmatic and stoical survivors coping both with the discipline of their regiment and the confusions of India
P o e t r y :
< influenced by the traditional Victorian poetry, but also by the Protestant hymn and the songs of the music hall
- introduces new subjects: inspired the term ‘Tommy Atkins’ for the English working-class private soldier of the regular army
- mastered the swinging verse rhythms, and a jingling, jingoistic verse
Barrack-Room Ballads (1890, 1892)
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorJoseph Rudyard Kipling. (1865 - 1936). British.
WorkNovelist. Short story writer. Poet. Author of Jungle Books (1894, 1895). Nobel Prize Winner (1907).
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Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.
Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.
"We're poor little lambs who've lost our way, / Baa! Baa! Baa! / We're little black sheep who've gone astray, / Baa — aa — aa!"