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51 One final word of praise should be paid to the fine bibliography, notes, and index which round the book out to a full 524 pages. St. Olaf College --J. Randolph Cox 5. The Kipling Who Is Being Read KIPLING AND THE, CRITICS. Edited with an Introduction By Elliot L. Gilbert. New York: New York U P, 1965. $5.00 (hardbound); $1.95 (paperbound). Elliot Gilbert's collection of essays about Kipling's work is the second such gathering in two years. There can be little doubt, since both these books were published by university presses, that Kipling is being dealt with seriously in the universities. That there was enough interest at the graduate level to warrant Harold Orel's offering a seminar in Kipling is further evidence; the lively and highly successful ELT Conference on Kipling at the 1964 MLA meetings is more evidence; the two volumes of Kipling's stories published by Anchor Books and introduced by Randall Jarrell is still more; the ELT supplementary bibliography of abstracts of writings about Kipling, amounting to some 800 items, which we published in 1965 clearly suggests the increased attention Kipling is receiving. Given these circumstances, Elliot Gilbert's, like Andrew Rutherford's, collection of critical essays is needed. Comparisons between Gilbert's KIPLING AND THE CRITICS and Rutherford's KIPLING'S MIND AND ART are inevitable. Rutherford's collection, as I wrote in reviewing that volume [ELT: VHi: 2 (1965), 128-293, is a good one. Gilbert, however, has a number of important advantages. Rutherford provided the reader with five previously published essays dating from 1940 to i960 and six new essays dated 1964, a total of eleven essays in 278 pages. Gilbert provides the reader with a wider range of critical reaction in fifteen essays dating from 1891 to I965, all in 183 pages. An important review by Andrew Lang, a comment by Oscar Wilde which could have been omitted, and a long piece by Henry James are all dated 1891. Robert Buchanan's severe attack dates 1900 and Max Beerbohm's harsh parody dates 1912. In providing these early essays, Gilbert gives the reader a sense of the passionte reaction Kipling was able toarouse before criticism became somewhat academic and dull, although perhaps more precise. It is regrettable that Gilbert did not include Walter Besant's intemperate defense of Kipling against Buchanan. However, we do have in this collection Lang's and James's comments, examples of "controlled enthusiasm" and "reasonable statement." Secondly, although he has included the same essays by O.rwel1 and by Trilling which are in Rutherford's collection, Gilbert gains much by also including a selection from J. M. S. Tompkins' THE ART OF RUDYARD KIPLING and C. S. Lewis's "Kipling's World," η 31ther of which is in Rutherford's volume. Thirdly, Elliot Gilbert provides an intelligent, concise survey of critical reactions to Kipling based on the representative essays he has gathered for this collection. His 14-page introduction serves well as a guide through the various attitudes, emphases, and critical methods the essays illustrate. Gilbert's collection, as a result, has a coherence which the u:t>i ni'tüat.ed may have difficulty in discovering in Rutherford's collection. Fourthly, although one need not be testy about it, the five-dollar list price of Gilbert's book seems more reasonable for such a volume than the seven dollars Stanford University Press found it necessary to demand for the longer Rutherford volume. Even more important for the classroom teacher is the fact that the N. Y. U. Press has also issued Gilbert's book in a paperbound format for $1.95. 52 Both Gilbert and Rutherford recognize the basic "Kipling problem": emphasis ¡τι much criticism on Kipling's political views has obscured the artist. Gilbert, however, allows himself the space to comment perceptively on this problem. He points out, for example, that while many of Kipling's views may seem dated and reprehensible, the subjects on which he commented—"the great issues of selfgovernment , of 'emerging populations,' and so on—are still very much alive." Both editors recognize that the "politically oriented commentaries" still continue to appear, although the pendulum has swung...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 51-52
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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