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Friday, May 13, 2011

KIM XIII -- chapter 7: The Bureau of General Misinformation

  1. Clearly a bildungsroman; Kim finally asks himself, and by extension the reader, the pertinent question himself, and, perhaps, opens a door for finally drawing up some shape from the elements of the story: "I go from one place to another as it might be a kick-ball. It is my kismet. No man can escape his kismet. But I am to pray to Bibi Miriam and I am a Sahib"—he looked at his boots ruefully. "No; I am Kim. This is the great world, and I am only Kim. Who is Kim?"
  2. "He considered his own identity, a thing he had never done before."  How, though more significantly, why, has Kim made it this far through his life without considering his identity and abilities?  What is he likely to discover?
  3. Who is Colonel Creighton?
  4. "There is no sin so great as ignorance."
  5. Any intention here: that as Kim and the Lama part ways for, perhaps, quite a long time, "the gates of learning" shut?  Is this a commentary on the education that will become available to Kim now that he enters the school yet leaves the Lama?  Would he have been better served, educationally-speaking, to skip school and find the river?
  6. new word (for me): scrupulosity -- I would have left it, less succinctly and certainly more sibilantly, at scrupulousness.  (Along similar lines, since when is the past participle of to thrive, throve?)
  7. Is Kim likely to be brainwashed while at school?  Might he go from Gryffindor to Death Eater, from the White City to Barad-dur?  Will he who was once a native, be able to command like all the rest of his racist sahib classmates?
  8. "Men are like horses. At certain times they need salt, and if that salt is not in the mangers they will lick it up from the earth."


  1. 1. I think that we don't really know yet.
    2. I don't think that he's lived a terribly introspective lifestyle. He's on the move most of the time.
    3. He seems to be the first person in the book who actually seems to care a bit about Kim. Of course Kim doesn't really seem to appreciate it so far.
    5. I think that he really does need the education. He's too bright never to learn how to write.
    6. Great word. And as for throve, I believe that I actually knew that one, although it's hard to say. It makes sense in light of "drive."
    7. No. He's too individualistic.

  2. 1. I think that for the most part you're right, but we're getting indications of his talents and I think there's room to predict what he may be like in his future, especially if he ends up sticking with the military.
    2. I agree. He is shockingly shallow and self-centered. I guess that makes sense, considering his upbringing, such as it was.
    3. I agree. I want to keep my eye on this guy.
    5. Yes.
    6. Throve smacks of British spelling and conjugation. I guess that makes sense, right? :)


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