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Tony Grist

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Finishing Puck [Aug. 14th, 2017|03:45 pm]
Tony Grist
 I love almost everything Kipling wrote but I think I love the Puck books best of all- if only because they're the things of his that make the hair on my forearms bristle the most. This may have something to do with knowing most of the places he writes about. We live on the edge of his stomping ground- and have spent the past three or four years getting to know it better. 

Seely Sussex for everlastin'

I've just finished the first book. If any charge Kipling with being a bone-headed nationalist or racist or anti-Semite they really should read the final story- The Treasure and the Law- and have another think . Kipling himself worried that it was "too heavy for its frame"- and I can see what he meant- because its lightning-flash piercings of the dark are dizzying. Kipling wasn't one for shielding his young readers from life's little brutalities- and never less so than in this story of a prince in Israel who does his adopted nation a good turn in spite of itself. This is Kipling at his most glittery and magnificent- . I didn't understand a word of it as a child- and perhaps just as well.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2017-08-14 07:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks -- I'll go back and reread it tonight.

(My favorites continue to be Kim, for what it tells us about The Great Game in Afghanistan; and Stalky and Company, for the flagrant injustice of it all.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-08-14 07:52 pm (UTC)
I have a particular fondness for the stories he wrote towards the end of his life- stories like The Wish House, The Janeites, the Gardener and Dayspring Mishandled. But then I love the Indian stories too- and, well, I could go on...

Kim is clearly a masterpiece and the Stalky stories are great fun.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2017-08-16 12:09 pm (UTC)
I have a small "gift book" edition of two of his longer stories, The Brushwood Boy and Them -- both of which touched on ESP and/or the paranormal, with a huge side helping of mingled nostalgia/grief/regret in the latter. It is beautifully illustrated.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-08-16 03:16 pm (UTC)
I bought most of my Kiplings back in the 70s- when his reputation was dirt and the books were similarly cheap. Most of them are first editions and they cost me next to nothing.

I'm reading Rewards and Fairies in a first edition with black and white plates by Frank Craig.

The Brushwood Boy and They are brilliant stories. Kipling was a great hand at the supernatural.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2017-08-18 09:56 pm (UTC)

I just finished The Treasure and the Law. I suspect that it is much more powerful as a culmination of a story cycle than as a stand-alone. I should probably reread all of Pook again to get the full impact.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-08-19 09:03 am (UTC)
Yes, I don't think any of the Puck stories really stand alone. They're not designed to. They're tied together in all sorts of ways.
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