* NOTICE: Mr. Center's Wall is on indefinite hiatus. Got something to say about it? Click HERE and type.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

KIM XII -- chapter 6.2: I Will Wait but the Boys Will Beat Me

Mahbub Ali
Start reading at: "On the morning of the fourth day a judgment overtook that drummer."

Okay.  I've decided I need to be more optimistic and assume that there's more of substance here than just the "window" to Indian cultures.  My fear is that I may simply be too ill-equipped to get it.  Normally, I'm pretty adept at culling bits and pieces of meaning from between the words and lines, but, here--and especially here as there is so much dialog and so little exposition--I'm distracted or lost, which alone are usually not so bad, but [again] here accompanied by a regrettable disinterest, those bits and pieces may go entirely unnoticed.  Of course, I can't cast the book aside; we've begun and we will finish (or I'll finish it on my own, at least).  So here are a few things I plan to look out for, all of which are potentially significant, as they've shown up in other important works:
  1. this is a historically significant book--the reputedly best of an author who won a Nobel Prize for literature--and its seeming lack of excellence is almost certainly my fault, not Kipling's;
  2. there is as much, if not more, "melting pot" going on in India as there is in England or the United States or anywhere else, and so there's got to be some statement about the influence of one culture upon the next and, as we've already examined to a degree, the inherent bigotries and tolerances that come along for the ride;
  3. as Kim moves between the various cultures, bearing his passport of "Friend to All the World," and eventually assumes his birthright under one in particular, how will he maintain or lose the others;
  4. Father Victor puts it most succinctly as he claims the label of "ethnologist" for himself, which, in the case of his obvious amateur status thereof, reminds me strongly of the enthusiast, amateur dinosaur hunters.


  1. Those are good issues to keep track of. I don't know. This book just jumps around so much that it's hard to get a feel for it. One second he's getting beaten. The next second he's escaping. Then, as soon as that happens, he gets caught. All in the span of about 5-10 pages. I agree that there has to be something to this book. I'm just getting demoralized at this point. The dialog is entertaining, and there are certain moments that grab my attention, but the problem is that the larger narrative is not working--at least through the first 1/3rd of the book--(and of course) at least for me.


Be sure to subscribe to the thread to receive discussion updates.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...