- Best chapter yet! Do you disagree? And leaning on the newly designated (by me, who is so slow on the uptake) episodic nature of the book, this story, chapter 9, is grand. As always, I checked the number of pages in the chapter, marked down an approximate halfway point, and began reading to it to determine a good stop-point for the day. I read right past it. Magic, right? And why not? Aside from the o-so-typical designation of, shall we say, "kinetic" writing to magically carry away the reader, this chapter's theme is Magic. Aside from the obvious magic performed by Mr. Lurgan, what other such feats are there?
- I'm intrigued, greatly, by Mr. Lurgan: "'Was that more magic?' Kim asked suspiciously. The tingle had gone from his veins; he felt unusually wide awake. // 'No, that was not magic. It was only to see if there was—a flaw in a jewel. Sometimes very fine jewels will fly all to pieces if a man holds them in his hand, and knows the proper way. That is why one must be careful before one sets them. Tell me, did you see the shape of the pot?' // 'For a little time. It began to grow like a flower from the ground.' // 'And then what did you do? I mean, how did you think?' // 'Oah! I knew it was broken, and so, I think, that was what I thought—and it was broken.' // 'Hm! Has any one ever done that same sort of magic to you before?' // 'If it was,' said Kim, 'do you think I should let it again? I should run away.' // 'And now you are not afraid—eh?' // 'Not now.' // Lurgan Sahib looked at him more closely than ever. 'I shall ask Mahbub Ali—not now, but some day later,' he muttered. 'I am pleased with you—yes; and I am pleased with you—no. You are the first that ever saved himself. I wish I knew what it was that . . . But you are right. You should not tell that—not even to me.'" What is going on in the final bolded statements here?
- This chapter is freaking loaded with potential metaphors and parallels. What about the memory game? Take a look at just as it is: a memory recall challenge. Extend that to the circumstances around the challenge and the motives (regarding the Hindu boy, as well as regarding Kim's potential for the future) of Mr. Lurgan to initiate it.
- And what about this Hindu boy? He attempts the killing of his master with "white arsenic," and the Sahib doesn't even bat an eye!
- This chapter is confusing and fully intriguing and huge. What overall impressions did you gain from it?
- The Lama's dream that he will only find the River of the Arrow with the help of his chela, Kim combines perfectly with the Tale of the Fettered Elephant. Thoughts?
- I felt pretty sure the 81 beads of the Lama's rosary would come back. What do you make of the convergence of its usages of prayer mnemonic and abacus?
- "Colonel Sahib, only once in a thousand years is a horse born so well fitted for the game as this our colt. And we need men."
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011
KIM XV - chapter 9: PRESTO, CHANGE-O!
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