?

Log in

No account? Create an account
An Example Of What I Meant... - Eroticdreambattle — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

An Example Of What I Meant... [Jan. 28th, 2010|02:42 pm]
Tony Grist
At the climax of "The Incarnation of Krishna Mulvaney"- a heartless yarn about heartless men behaving heartlessly- Mulvaney, the drunken Irish squaddie, escapes from a temple full of high caste Hindu women by pretending to be the god Krishna.  So far, so farcical. But Mulvaney knows that the women are there to pray for children- and is himself the father of a child that died. As he exits sideways, draped in the silk lining he's ripped out of a palanqueen and tootling on a beer bottle, he sees how one of the "darlin's" is working her fingers "one in another as if she wanted to touch my feet. So I dhrew the tail av this pink overcoat over her head for the greater honour, an' I slid into the dhark on the other side av the temple". Suddenly- in the middle of all the brazenness and cynicism- we have a entirely gratuitous moment of connection between one human being and another- which we don't linger on because an instant later Mulvaney is roughing up the temple priest for cash. The story doesn't need this touch of grace. It would be entirely effective without it. But the sudden change of register- Shakespearian in its daring-  lifts it from effectiveness into greatness. This is an example of what I meant when I spoke of Kipling as essentially a poet- and  a reason why I love him.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2010-01-28 10:58 pm (UTC)
I think that's a recurring theme in Kipling's Three Musketeers stories -- for almost all of the time, Mulvaney, Otheris & Learoyd care only for themselves and each other, but every so often there are those flashes of grace, like lightning strikes.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-01-29 09:45 am (UTC)
The more I read Kipling the more I think he's terribly misunderstood. People caricature him as coarse and brutal- but what he's saying is, look, the world's like this- I'm not going to pretend otherwise- but there's also always the chance of something better.

He's not a simple writer....
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2010-01-29 05:13 pm (UTC)
No, he certainly isn't. He's all about flashes of grace in even the most unspeakably brutal situations. I've always loved his work.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-01-29 05:51 pm (UTC)
There are writers one admires and writers one loves. For me Kipling comes in the second- very exclusive- group.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)