August 14th, 2017

Finishing Puck

 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.