Thursday, December 27, 2018

Kindred spirits …

… If Trump Were a Poet, He’d Be Rudyard Kipling - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The response to Kipling was much the same as it is to the president today, though of course on a smaller scale. Trilling wrote that the writer’s maddening affect on liberals allowed the left “to be content with easy victories of right feeling and with moral self-congratulation.” Trilling allowed that Kipling was an honest man who “loved the national virtues.” Yet he observed that “no man ever did more harm to the national virtues than Kipling did.” 

1 comment:

  1. The person who wishes to cry down Kipling should be urged to sit down and read some of his better stories, e.g. "On Greenhow Hill", maybe "Regulus" if the language doesn't cause im to faint. The person who wishes to praise Kipling uncritically should be made to read some of his more obnoxious stories, e.g. "Timlay Doola", or "His Chance in Life".

    My objection to Kipling is that his characters may be measured along three positive dimensions: Honest, Brave, and Clever. Natives of Great Britain, and of Ireland if belonging to the Protestant Ascendancy, may pick all three, everyone else gets at most two. But I read Herodotus with interest and pleasure, and he considered and called all my ancestors barbarians.