• ARRSE have partnered with Armadillo Merino to bring you an ARRSE exclusive, generous discount offer on their full price range.
    To keep you warm with the best of Merino gear, visit www.armadillomerino.co.uk and use the code: NEWARRSE40 at the checkout to get 40% off!
    This superb deal has been generously offered to us by Armadillo Merino and is valid until midnight on the the 28th of February.

Rudyard Kipling - a revival is needed!

Having subverted Random Task's spy thread (apologies) with my talk about Kipling and his writing style.

I just thought that it was amazing that such a brilliant writer and poet is basically ignored by main stream society! Yes, thanks to Disney, children know the 'Jungle Book' and some people may have seen the movie 'Kim'. But go into any book shop and will you see a full retinue of his work, no?

Kipling was indeed a man of times a vastly proud patriot, imperialist and firm believer western superiority but if you read 'Kim', 'The Just so' stories or 'Gunja Din', you see man who celebrated and loved India.

Just because his views are considered to be extremist, racist or whatever. How can you deny the brilliance of the man, it's appalling that such a man is excluded from the nation's curriculum and works like 'If' and 'Gunja Din' will be soon historical relics of the past.

rant over.
You didn't subvert the thread and that was not a rant but a reasoned statement. Tomorrow I shall instruct my ex wife to return my collection forthwith, or else.
Trevelez said:
You didn't subvert the thread and that was not a rant but a reasoned statement. Tomorrow I shall instruct my ex wife to return my collection forthwith, or else.
You didn't take the collection with you? for-shame! :wink:
Just too add, it truly appalls me (and I have had many an argument on this) writers like Rushdie, Naipaul and Roy have presented some of the worst carictures of Indians ever but they are celebrated, while Kipling is vilified :roll:
Kipling had the ability to understand the soldiers. One of my favourites is the eathen, a good depiction of your progress through the ranks.
You are right; however I shall retrieve them as soon as and attempt to distract my son from Andy McNab with something of worth. I do like Plain Tales From The Hills Though. Perhaps I'm a lightweigth.
Kipling could also be quite humerous.

A Code of Morals
Lest you should think this story true
I merely mention I
Evolved it lately. 'Tis a most
Unmitigated misstatement.

Now Jones had left his new-wed bride to keep his house in order,
And hied away to the Hurrum Hills above the Afghan border,
To sit on a rock with a heliograph; but ere he left he taught
His wife the working of the Code that sets the miles at naught.

And Love had made him very sage, as Nature made her fair;
So Cupid and Apollo linked , per heliograph, the pair.
At dawn, across the Hurrum Hills, he flashed her counsel wise --
At e'en, the dying sunset bore her husband's homilies.

He warned her 'gainst seductive youths in scarlet clad and gold,
As much as 'gainst the blandishments paternal of the old;
But kept his gravest warnings for (hereby the ditty hangs)
That snowy-haired Lothario, Lieutenant-General Bangs.

'Twas General Bangs, with Aide and Staff, who tittupped on the way,
When they beheld a heliograph tempestuously at play.
They thought of Border risings, and of stations sacked and burnt --
So stopped to take the message down -- and this is whay they learnt --

"Dash dot dot, dot, dot dash, dot dash dot" twice. The General swore.
"Was ever General Officer addressed as 'dear' before?
"'My Love,' i' faith! 'My Duck,' Gadzooks! 'My darling popsy-wop!'
"Spirit of great Lord Wolseley, who is on that mountain top?"

The artless Aide-de-camp was mute, the gilded Staff were still,
As, dumb with pent-up mirth, they booked that message from the hill;
For clear as summer lightning-flare, the husband's warning ran: --
"Don't dance or ride with General Bangs -- a most immoral man."

[At dawn, across the Hurrum Hills, he flashed her counsel wise --
But, howsoever Love be blind, the world at large hath eyes.]
With damnatory dot and dash he heliographed his wife
Some interesting details of the General's private life.

The artless Aide-de-camp was mute, the shining Staff were still,
And red and ever redder grew the General's shaven gill.
And this is what he said at last (his feelings matter not): --
"I think we've tapped a private line. Hi! Threes about there! Trot!"

All honour unto Bangs, for ne'er did Jones thereafter know
By word or act official who read off that helio.
But the tale is on the Frontier, and from Michni to Mooltan
They know the worthy General as "that most immoral man."
I read Kipling in the 1940's when we needed some uplift in the war. He almost caused me to leave home and go find Kim or that flag.
I cannot imagine any latter day chav being in any way fired up by Kipling - service to the Empire and The Queen. Most of the effect would wear off anyway as they would have to have someone read it to them.
Barrack Room Ballards for his collected poems with a military theme - many of the poems are very apt now given our current involvement in Afghanistan.
I was very fortunate and found in a book shop in Lichfield a complete set of his poems. Some really inspiring stuff in those poems. I think "If" should be recited during every leadership course.
I have to agree with Duke, it is possible to interest the young with Kipling. Read 'If' to a bunch of 15 year old boys and they love it as it is positive reinforcement of manhood. The problem is the fact the Kipling is deemed to be retrograde and unfashionable. I don't agree with half the things that Kipling wrote and said but I contextualise it but the problem is that many don't and paint the man to be much worse then he actually was.


armchair_jihad said:
Do not forget the Kipling inspired John Huston classic 'the Man who would be King', many a yoof finds their way to Kipling through it.
I watched it with my wife the other day, she didn't really know Kipling (foreign shores) but she thought the film was great...Funnily enough our youngest is called Alexander....would it be pretentious I called him Sekunda as a nickname ;)
And he makes exceedingly good cakes as well...

Kim is a permanent fixture in my kit when travelling - it is endlessly re-readable. The Man Who Would Be King is another favourite story.

When I was a kid, I used to fall asleep to the sound of the Just So stories on tape - the best, of course, being the Cat Who Walked By Himself (and all places were alike to him.)

Kipling's always had a bit of an ambivalent reception - he was writing about honour and duty to the Empire just as the message changed, particularly in the light of WW I. Certainly due a revival!


Latest Threads