Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936.
Full name: Joseph Rudyard Kipling.
English fiction writer and poet born in Bombay, India and raised in England;
he returned to India as a young adult, and the subcontinent informs much of his
literary work. One of the most popular English writers of the late 19th and early
20th centuries, he continues to be celebrated for his poetry, short stories and
children's fiction, particularly the feral child tales of Mowgli gathered in
The Jungle Book (1894) and The Second Jungle Book (1895). Much of
Kipling's writing explores the lives of British soldiers. Simplistically and
erroneously stigmatized after his death as a jingoistic apologist for empire, his
work is much more subtle and nuanced than his critics credit. Kim is
considered his masterpiece. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907.
Young Kimball O'Hara, orphaned son of an Irish soldier, grows up as a child of
the streets and sometime informant in India. He befriends and takes up with Teshoo
Lama, an aged Tibetan monk on a quest for the legendary River of the Arrow, becoming
his chela or disciple. Their pilgrimage is interrupted when Kim's heritage
is recognized and he is forced into an English boarding school in Lucknow. The lama,
valuing education, funds the boy's schooling. Kim is also trained in espionage, as
the English authorities hope to make him a player in the "Great Game" for influence
in Central Asia between Britain and Russia. Afterwards Kim rejoins his lama and
their quest, but subtly redirects it into regions of interest to his superiors,
his notion of predestination convincing him that the result will be appropriate to
both causes. The crisis of the novel comes with an encounter with Russian agents
that leaves Kim injured but possessed of important intelligence. During his recovery
the lama reports that he has found his river and achieved enlightenment for himself
and his chela. Adapted to film in 1950 and television in 1960 and 1984.
Dec. 9, 2013,
and last updated
Dec. 9, 2013.
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Published by Fleabonnet Press.
The source list data is public domain.
Additional material © 1999-2013 by Brian Kunde.