The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138935 Message #3209268
Posted By: Will Fly
19-Aug-11 - 03:32 AM
Thread Name: Kipling with the Tradition
Subject: RE: Kipling with the Tradition
I've always thought Kipling was a more complex character than he's been painted, and there's always a moralistic/historical warp when we try to assess the accepted viewpoints of his society from our own standpoint over 100 years later. It's a little like being disgusted at the casual anti-semitism displayed in Dorothy Sayers' detective stories, which is deplorable now but was thought less so then.
I've never read "Kim", for example, without seeing an acceptance of India as it was by Kipling. To be sure, there are still underlying structures of racism, paternalism and imperialism, but Kipling goes further than many other people of his time to describe the adventures of Kim on the road with his chela and the other characters encountered with genuine affection.
And, of course, he paid for his imperialism with the tragedy of his son.