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ELT: VOLUME 34:2, 1991 unearthed all or virtually all that Symons put into print. Their handsome Arthur Symons: A Bibliography is an indispensable handbook and platform for further study of his work. The volume is also, it should be noted, a fascinating revelation of the range and endurance of his work. The introduction to the familiar Modern Library edition of Pater's Renaissance, for example—it's by Symons and comes almost verbatim from the Monthly Review of September 1906. Alan Johnson Arizona State University Two on Kipling Kipling's Lost World. Edited and with Intro, by Harry Ricketts. Padstow, Cornwall: Tabb House, 1989. The Encore Series, xii + 146 pp. Cloth £10.95 Paper £4.95 Nora Crook. Kipling's Myths of Love and Death. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989. xix. + 219 pp. $35.00 THE QUESTION of Kipling's right to the continuing respect of critics and scholars seems to have been settled far more decisively than the frequently-repeated claim that we are in the midst of a Kipling revival, or about to enter upon one. The recent proliferation of collections of essays about Kipling's writings, various efforts to interpret the biographical data anew, and an intensified interest in the verse and short stories suggest that the market has not yet been saturated. Unfortunately, many of the books pubhshed during the past quartercentury , lively and unsettling to the received image though they may be, do not seem to have surveyed carefully the vast hterature that accumulated during Kipling's hfetime, and frequently their authors do not seem to be much aware of what other scholars and critics have written. We can only be sure that the end of copyright restrictions will mean new editions. I suspect that in the U.S. most readers will continue to appreciate the stories written for children (The Jungle Book, The Just So Stories, Puck of Pook's Hill, Rewards and Fairies), because those are what their parents and grandparents read; Enghsh readers will be more aware of the astonishingly wide range of subject matter contained in stories written both early and late in KiPhUg1S career. Harry Ricketts's anthology of poems and stories written by the "hterary" Kipling—the Kipling who wrote about hterature, a creative writer's source of inspiration, and the nature of his own art—will not 208 Book Reviews reshape drastically the concept of an industrious yet still often mysterious talent; there are no lost or unfairly shghted narratives here, and the poems are uneven in quahty but still largely the ones we might expect to find. But there is much food for thought in seeing "The Last of the Stories," "The Finest Story in the World," "Wireless," "The Bull That Thought," "Dayspring Mishandled," and "Proofs of Holy Writ" assembled with such fairly direct poetical statements as "When 'Omer Smote 'Is Bloomin' Lyre." The realignment of these fictions and poems will remind us of any number of truths: Kipling showed a healthy respect for art and artists even while praising those who performed the day's work; he thought seriously about the power and the limitations of even the most gifted artist; he possessed an astonishing amount of information about literary tradition, and was better read than some of his more sniffy rivals in the world of belles lettres; and he foreshadowed by decades the use of an unreliable narrator. Professor Ricketts, of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, will surprise few readers when, in his introduction, he stresses the canny strategies whereby Kipling camouflaged his "literariness." He seems to be fighting an old fight (long since won) when he complains of the Kipling of "the received account," the writer of "If—" and any number of "thumping ballads," ^jingoistic hymns" and "copybook phrases." The potential audience for this new gathering will not need to be reminded that Kipling is astonishingly sophisticated about "the crucially problematic relationship between fiction and truth." The notes are more informative. For their insights, packed into a hmited number of pages, we can be grateful. "The Last of the Stories," for example, yields the observation that Kipling, even by 1888, had mastered a Romantic formula ("This is what I should...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 208-212
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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