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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

KIM V -- chapter 3.1: The Meaning of My Star is War

Indian Cobra -- wikipedia
stop at: "and Kim had enjoyed a most interesting evening with the old man, who brought out his cavalry sabre and, balancing it on his dry knees, told tales of the Mutiny and young captains thirty years in their graves, till Kim dropped off to sleep."
  1. The Lama's statement, "We go from these unblessed fields," reads like a passive-aggressive, not to mention rather whiny, gripe against the farmer, yet the farmer takes it as an actual curse from a man who is "Holy" (priest) in a religion not his own, and he believes the malediction will damage the prospects of his establishment.  Why does he so believe?
  2. As the farmer judged Kim and the Lama upon their trespass to his land, did not the Lama similarly so judge the farmer (yet he manages to observe the snake charitably!)?  What is your judgment on the Lama (for this or for any other reason)?  What does he tell us--think about Lama's judgment on farmer versus judgment on snake--about human nature?
  3. Grand Trunk Road
  4. "Then, if thy Gods will, be assured that thou wilt come upon thy freedom."  Describe the nature of this particular brand of freedom.
  5. Is Kim more likely to attract belief from his audience, as he foretells of coming war, by imitating a bazaar fortuneteller or by speaking baldly of how he came across such information?
  6. "This is a great and terrible world.  I never knew there were so many man alive in it."
I'm still having a hard time "getting" a lot of the story.  Now, however, I seem to be over the hurdle of filtering cultural references, culling for those most important and looking them up, but am often stymied by Kipling's narrative stylings.  It is always enriching to immerse oneself in something so, well, not new, but different.  If you're reading this, please let me know what you think thus far of the book and its author.


  1. 1. Whether he believes the lama or not, I think that he has to be feeling some guilt. The lama's words probably exacerbate this feeling.
    2. Not sure about this, but it's possible that the judgment may have been an attempt to get the farmer to reconsider, which worked.
    4. Freedom from mundane existence, perhaps?
    5. Good question. I get the sense that he's grabbing their attention more than engendering belief.

    Yeah, I don't know. The story is entertaining enough, I suppose, but I just don't have a feel for it yet either.

  2. Hey, wow! -- welcome back!

    It's been quite a while since I've read these earlier few chapters. As I'm still not really all that jazzed about the book, it hasn't really stuck with me. Your responses all look and sound good. Sure. I hope I'm not still grasping at straws halfway through (almost there).

  3. Haha. I agree. It's not a bad book. It's just one that I can tell I'm not going to treasure afterward. I'll try to keep up/catch up a bit better from now on. The last few weeks were absolutely crazy. It's good to be reading again!

  4. Yeah, it'll have to get pretty good pretty fast to hang in for me as a great. It seems to be a book that doesn't transcend cultures like others we've done.

    Yep -- and it's good to have you here reading again. I understand the busy scale.


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