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128 REVIEWS 1. Rudyard Kipling: The Emergence of a New View Andrew Rutherford (ed). KIPLING'S MIND AND ART: SELECTED CRITICAL ESSAYS. Lond: Oliver & Boyd; Stanford: Stanford U P, 1964. $7.00. In I960 we published in EFT a bibliography of about 1,630 abstracts of writings about Kipling; we now have in preparation a supplement that will probably add 1,000 or more entries. We once thought of compiling a collection of the most important essays on Kipling, but we were overwhelmed by the heap of fluff and stuff that had been written about him. We did finally think some 12-15 pieces might deserve reprinting , but when at last we had weeded out these few, we heard of the work of Louis Cornell, Elliott Gilbert, and Carl Bodelsen (see, for example, ELT, Vol VII: 4 [1964]) and thought we had better wait. Mr. Rutherford has been a little more adventuresome, and it is to his credit. We shall save face simply by saying that he has left room for another collection or two. Since the publication of Miss J. M. S. Tompkins' THE ART OF RUDYARD KIPLING, Bonamy Dobrée's RUDYARD KIPLING, and C. S. Lewis' "Kipling World," in THEY ASKED FOR A PAPER, more and more thoughtful criticism has been published. And, now, with the centenary of Kipling's birth underway, we are no doubt to have still more. However, on the whole, Mr. Rutherford has done well in his selection of eleven essays for inclusion in his 278-page book. The five previously published essays (from 1940 to 1960) by W. L. Renwick, Edmund Wilson, Lionel Trilling, George Orwell, and Noel Annan are worth preserving. It Is perhaps regrettable that Rutherford could not find space for a section from Miss Tompkins' book and that Professor Lewis and his publishers could not permit the inclusion of his essay. The six new essays Rutherford includes, however, more than make up for the necessary omissions. The footnote to Trilling's 1943 essay provides a clue to the change of attitude toward Kipling during the past ten to fifteen years: "Professor Trilling," the editor writes, "has asked me to say that if he were writing on Kipling now he would do so 'less censoriously and with more affectionate admiration.'" It seems to me that negative and affirmative judgments of Kipling's work are now less automatic, in a way less partisan. Serious critics are less put off by Kipling's ideological outbursts. Serious critics are more likely to take into account Kipling's artistry and they are more likely to view that with sympathy. This has in part become the tendency because greater attention is being given to Kipling's later work, because his ambiguity had even obscurity in some work are being admired as valid aspects of his art rather than being derided. Another sign of Kipling's new position in literature is the fact that he is one of the eight authors included in J. I. M. Stewart's EIGHT MODERN WRITERS; still another, perhaps, is that the KIPLING JOURNAL is now less a sentimental eulogizing "house organ" than it used to be and is far more responsible and objective in the critical as well as biographical comments it publishes; and still another sign is that a respected critic like Randall Jarrell has written long introductions to two volumes of Kipling's stories in a respected paperback series (Anchor Books) much used in colleges and universities. The essays by Edmund Wilson (1941) and Noel Annan (I960), perhaps the most important of the earlier pieces in this collection, predict and record this change in Kipling's status. 129 The difference in attitude toward Kipling since, say, about 1940 is nicely illustrated if one compares the relatively harsh language of Orwell with the more moderate phrasing of George Shepperson; both writers recognize the unpleasant implications of what Kipling sometimes says and both recognize the qualities that have been the cause of Kipling's survival as one of the foremost writers of his time. Alan Sandison, in showing that even in his earlier stories Kipling "is never simply political," also contributes to the new image we are getting of Kipling. Nor...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 128-129
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Ceased Publication
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