- I've read most of Kipling's Just So Stories and quite a lot of his poetry. While I enjoy the Stories, I can't say the same for Kim. The stories, obviously, are short format, much like poetry, really, and the poems--if you doubt it just read the introductory verses to each chapter of Kim--are far superior to anything of the text that follows each, except possibly chapter 9.
- Notice the use of present tense--inconsistent, though it is--in the beginning of this chapter. If I remember correctly, this is the first in the book. Does it do anything, in your opinion, to benefit the story--er, the story's narration?
- Considering the unilateral focus on finding the River of the Arrow here in the last chapter, I wonder if the entire middle of the book (because Kim's literal finding of the Red Bull on the Green Field seems to have nothing to do with anything, least of all his life--and this by fault of the narrative, not Kim or the soldiers of the Red Bull unit) is not dissimilar, other than its exceedingly length, from Shakespeare's induction stories, giving context to what's after (and before, in this case). (Check James Smith's unmoderatedcaucus.blogspot.com for further discussion.)
- Of course it makes sense that the Lama is dying as we approach the end of the book (almost makes me wish he had in the end--not because I don't like him, but so we could have something happen), and as death is an end, perhaps the book--or the story--too is dying, though if we follow that comparison the other way round, then the Lama would have died sometime shortly after the third chapter of so.
- I'm going to ask this with deliberate obtuseness: do Kim and the Lama have to find the River to find the River? How do you feel about the fact that they do, supposedly, find it in its tangible, physical iteration?
- Has the story improved--even if insufficiently--in these final two chapters?
- Further proof that Kipling likes to narrate what no one wants to read and bypass what might actually prove interesting: The Lama found the River of the Arrow, and we didn't even get to watch him do it! I feel robbed! Further, look at all that happens in this chapter. We read and read and don't read anything and then hear that Kim is sick, sick, and he's got someone tending him, and there are momentous occurrences while he's out aside from his massage. I've never read someone (save perhaps myself) who could say so little with so many words!
- And the ending could have been just fantastic--even redemptive. Look back at what Kim's journey was until he and the Lama came to the River. The story--the STORY--is good; the narration is ABYSMAL.
- And now that I'm done with this book, I am tired. Tired. Tired.
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Thursday, May 26, 2011
KIM XXI -- chapter 15: THE OLD EAT THE YOUNG DAILY
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