My first inclination was to create a new thread on Kipling's book of short stories, "Plain Tales From the Hills." But given my love of Kipling and his great output, I thought better of it and have created the "Rudyard Kipling" thread.
For my first entry, I will recommend "Plain Tales From the Hills." This volume of short stories was one of the first books which Kipling published. And while the stories are set in various Indian locales, (especially Simla, the summer capital of the British Raj) they are much more than "stories about India." In fact, they are a wonderful compilation of character studies which use India as a unifying theme. From the foolish Subaltern to the sly Mrs. Hauksbee we are introduced to an array of eternal characters making their way through life, but this time with an Indian tint.
They may not be Kipling's greatest works, but they are still Kipling which means the prose is better than that of 99% of other famous writers. What I find particularly amazing is that a young man of 21 could even observe the subtleties of human nature on display in some of the stories.
For anyone who has interest in short stories, the British Raj and good writing, I suggest you take a look at "Plain Tales From the Hills" by Rudyard Kipling.
Post by timothylane on Aug 8, 2019 16:42:23 GMT -8
I've read a modest amount of Kipling, and as far as I can tell from the listing in wikipedia, none of it comes from this collection. Apparently there's a lot of juvenile humor (he was 21 when it came out), or so they say.
Apparently there's a lot of juvenile humor (he was 21 when it came out), or so they say.
He overuses a device whereby during the story he appears to be reminded of another story which is similar, like "I recall one Colonel who was caught in a similarly compromising situation, but that is another story."
But that is a small price to pay for the joy of reading Kipling.
I suppose my favorite Kipling is Tommy. I have read some of his short stories and enjoyed them. And the Man Would Be King is a great movie, Sean Connery and Michael Caine is IMHO the best adaption of Kipling to the screen.
Kipling is one of the best examples of how good and how bad the Raj was for India, but without his poetry and stories we would understand so much less of Asia in the latter part of the 19th century. In much the same way Churchill does the same for the 20th century.
Post by timothylane on Aug 8, 2019 20:49:08 GMT -8
I think we read "Tommy" in senior English, along with "Gunga Din" (of course) and "If" (a favorite of Jose Antonio Primo De Rivera, interestingly). I had read Kim in 8th or 9th grade. Later I read a scattering of stories and poems, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (which I'll probably list as my favorite) and many of his colonial/military poems -- including one I recommended in the poetry section at ST. I had read "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" as a kid.
By the way, our term "pundit" comes from a native term for Indian spies such as Kim.
By the way, our term "pundit" comes from a native term for Indian spies such as Kim.
It has been my understanding that our word pundit comes from "pandit" which is Hindi (I blv) for a Hindu scholar. A number of the early Indian Congress Party leaders had their names prefaced with pandit.
As soon as I finish sinking the Lusitania (if I get that far), I'll try some Plain Tales From the Hills. I've read some of his short stories but can't imagine I've read them all. Thanks for bringing this excellent author to our attention. A-'Kipling we will go.
In case anyone is interested, the link will take the reader to information about the city of Simla. This is the city in which Kipling situates most of the stories in his "Plain Tales From the Hills." It was the summer capital of British India and therefore well known to anyone with an interest in the history of the British Raj.
Post by timothylane on Aug 9, 2019 12:24:46 GMT -8
Of course, the name that interested me was that of the dam buster Guy Gibson. I don't recall Brickhill going much into his background. Grant McCormick included a recent history of the raid in one of his e-book drops, and at some point I intended to read it. Maybe that will discuss Gibson's Indian past.
The link is to a very nice piece on Kipling. One sees that we could use him today. Even in his own time, the intellectuals despised him, no doubt because he was right in his views about civilization and the way the world was going. And of course, there is the fact that deviants, such as Oscar Wilde, sneer at those not as perverted as themselves. Misery loves company.
Roger Kimball does Kipling justice in this article.
timothylane: I think it's clear KFZ had a happy birthday, or at least a happy meal (but not a Happy Meal). I hope so, anyway. No doubt it helps that he isn't stuck in a nursing home for the rest of his life.
Jul 25, 2019 21:25:52 GMT -8
Brad Nelson: Yes, Happy Birthday, Mr. Kung. I had forgotten yours was so close to mine. What day was it?
Jul 26, 2019 9:03:45 GMT -8
kungfuzu: Thanks to all for your birthday wishes. Yes, I did have a very happy meal. Not only did I have that wonderful steak and Brunello, but my wife also served up a lobster bisque. I generally eat well, but it is very rare for me to have such a fabulous repast.
Jul 26, 2019 9:41:08 GMT -8
kungfuzu: My birth date, July 25th, is of course a very important day in history. For example, one of the world-changing things to have taken place on this date was.........(crickets chirping) oh yeah, Bleriot was the first to fly across the English Channel
Jul 26, 2019 9:43:58 GMT -8
timothylane: Well, that's more than I can think of for December 12, my birth date. Some people are luckier, and even have some appopriate event -- such as Barack Obama being born on the anniversary of the Borden murders in Fall River, MA.
Jul 26, 2019 10:28:32 GMT -8
timothylane: Lobster bisque --- I've probably had that somewhere. But I'll go for New England clam chowder first. It's my favorite soup. I'll also take shrimp over lobster (or crab), though I like them all (and plenty of mollusks as well).
Jul 26, 2019 10:30:06 GMT -8
lynda: Just in case I'm offline on December 12th, Happy Birthday Timothy! I hope you get shrimp, and clam chowder.
Jul 26, 2019 11:17:29 GMT -8
timothylane: Thank you. I've never had clam chowder here (not even that tomato-based Manhattan version, which I had once), but they have on rare occasion had some sort of shrimp (I think theoretically shrimp scampi). You take what you can get.
Jul 26, 2019 11:58:05 GMT -8
kungfuzu: Tonight at 8:00pm ET, METv is broadcasting "Forbidden Planet" during it's Saturday night "Svengoolee" segment.
Jul 27, 2019 10:17:44 GMT -8
timothylane: They also have the Star Trek episode "Errand of Mercy" (war with the Klingons over Organia) at 10 p.m. And some interesting Three Stooges pie fights at 6 p.m., including the "Sword of Damocles" sequence.
Jul 27, 2019 10:45:10 GMT -8
Brad Nelson: I've got the Blu-ray version of Forbidden Planet. It might be time to ogle Anne Francis again. I have monsters in my ID. What can I say?
Jul 27, 2019 20:19:35 GMT -8
davegs: I've been in IT for over 40 years - and have been cobbling together systems for family and friends for years. It's not quite 'steam-punk' - but can seem rather close sometimes. Now its about weeding out what's been accumulated over the years.
Jul 30, 2019 6:08:39 GMT -8
Brad Nelson: I love the idea of a steam-punk Rube-Goldbergesque computer made of just stuff sitting around. That's something you can do with a PC that you really can't do with a Mac.
Jul 30, 2019 7:51:49 GMT -8
Brad Nelson: There used to be a PC repair place down the hall from me. I got a good view of how this guy could take parts and make a PC. He made me a couple from spare parts...parts that weren't up to spec but technically still worked.
Aug 1, 2019 9:07:57 GMT -8
kungfuzu: To continue my ongoing history lesson on the low regard in which actors have been held throughout history, I just read that actors could not become citizens in the Byzantine Empire. Apparently, the word actor was used as a synonym for prostitute.
Aug 1, 2019 10:41:31 GMT -8
kungfuzu: MeTV is showing John Wayne in "Chisum" at the moment. They just had "Rio Lobo." I don't know if this is a John Wayne binge, but if it is, I'll be happy.
Nov 13, 2019 14:49:32 GMT -8
kungfuzu: Sorry, it is not MeTV, but the Movies Channel which is showing "Chisum."
Nov 13, 2019 15:05:21 GMT -8
timothylane: I was wondering. MeTV doesn't show movies, though it does show plenty of western TV shows (except on Sundays). I've seen Chisum, about the Lincoln County War. I don't know if I have the Movies Channel, or if so where it is.
Nov 16, 2019 16:45:52 GMT -8