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

Monday, May 16, 2011

KIM XIV -- chapter 8: Meantime a Place by the Fire

  1. Churel: The overlapping of folkloric creatures / ghosts / monster / characters across cultures is fascinating.  The churel reminds me of La Llorona and the diviners from L'Inferno.  Of course, folklore derives itself from the human needs of its inventors and propagators, and no matter the culture, little differs among the peoples of world.  Right?  Anyway:  Inasmuch as the churel is a woman who died in childbirth, is there any symbolic connection that you can, well, divine, from/to the text?
  2. Seeing the substantial role that Mahbub Ali yet plays, I haven't given up on the notion that perhaps he is the Red Bull after all, and that the Red Bull on the Green Field of Kimball's father's old regiment is ancillary, at least for Kim's coming-of-age.  Interesting, however, and especially from our current perspective from within the story where Kim is yet to commit to any one particular way of life, that not only is the beard dyed (within the context of the story) but also that (meta-story) the Red Bull regiment is an invention of Kipling's.  Thoughts?
  3. "They were unfriends of mine."
  4. "Very foolish it is to use the wrong word to a stranger; for though the heart may be clean of offence, how is the stranger to know that? He is more like to search truth with a dagger."  Akin to (off the top of my head, though a common enough theme) Ender's Game and its Buggers versus Humans: "If the other fellow can't tell you his story, you can never be sure he isn't trying to kill you."   This, of course, is a perfectly apt theme (potentially, anyway -- though, of course, we'll see...) for Kim as there are so many cultures and the issue of communication between them is at point, else Kim would certainly not be Friend to all the World.
  5. And so, building from the previous: "Thou art beyond question an unbeliever, and therefore thou wilt be damned. So says my Law—or I think it does. But thou art also my Little Friend of all the World, and I love thee. So says my heart."
  6. Forgetting the final section, evaluate this chapter [1] as compared to those we've read so far and [2] as a story--a short story--unto itself, isolated from the rest of the book.


  1. 1. Ahh excellent connection there to the fact that he's orphaned.
    2. Hmm... not sure if he is the Red Bull. He may be the person who leads Kim to the Red Bull. But we'll see. It's certainly not impossible.
    3. Sort of anticipates Facebook, eh?
    4. Good connection. I think that it also fits in "Kim" because it has such a jaded worldview, which I think comes out as much as, if not more than, any other chapter in the book so far here in chapter 8.
    6. As part of the novel, it's another jump from the rest of the text, at least for me. Your short story approach may be a better way to view these chapters so far that have so little continuity. The "short story" really focuses on the relationship between Kim and Ali, which is pretty interesting because it's two incredibly cynical people (at least somewhat) opening their hearts to each other.

  2. 1. That's what I was thinking. Too bad we won't get his mom back as a ghost haunting the Lama, Mahbub, and the British Army.
    2. I guess I would just like it better were Mahbub the Bull than the painfully obvious regiment whose flag is a bull on a field. I wanted there to me more mysticism to the prophecy.
    3. Haha!
    4. Good point.
    6. I've been working so hard to keep everything strung together, that I've sort of bypassed the book's potential as a series of episodes, which, really, fits Kipling better considering the more I learn about Kipling's general writing and trends. I noticed it this time, I think, because of the way the end refers back to the beginning (can't remember the specifics off the top of my head).


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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...