With God and Man in Kipling’s Kim

Posted at the Ministry of Culture.

I have just read Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim and am in awe of it.

My mother had suggested a few times that I read it and so, of course, I didn’t. This was a triumph of stubbornness over experience. My mother has a few intellectual quirks (Mets fan?) but has never, ever steered me wrong in a book recommendation.*

Prior to reading Kim, all I knew of Kipling was

  1. he wrote the wonderful Just So Stories
  2. his reputation as a stuffy defender of the British Empire
  3. and is author of one a great poem about the plight of forgotten veterans, The Last of the Light Brigade.

There were thirty million English who talked of England’s might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, the had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

None of which prepared me for Kim.

If you care to read it, there is more here.

Same author, additional blog

Anyone not already bored with my writing is invited to take a look at my new blog (or maybe it’s a new department of this blog?) The Ministry of Culture.

The Ministry of Culture is about looking for God in all the facets of culture — rock & roll, Shakespeare, science fiction, roller derby, opera, comedy and whatever else crosses my path. All opinions will be honest and irony free. However ,as in everything else in life, not all will be explained or made explicit.

Today’s inaugural posts are Part 1 in my highly idiosyncratic guide to gospel music and a selection from master humorist & historian Will Cuppy on Dolly Madison. Today is the 340th anniversary of Mrs. Madison’s birthday. What does this last post have to do with a Supreme Being? Not much directly. But I like to think that God likes us so much that He shared Mr. Cuppy with us for a while.

Anyone so interested might also care to read some of my favorite quotes from other writers.

FWIW, the logo above is by Neil Curtis and was scanned without permission from his magnificently strange and sublime children’s (?) book Bear Dinkum. It is a sublime meditation on art, God, Australia and the use of hand-to-hand violence in modern ballet. Sadly I have been unable to locate a copy of the sequel — not making this up — Bear Dinkum Drops His Guts.