Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rudyard Kipling


Dean Stockwell in Kim (The Sheila Variations: Dean Stockwell Archives)

Mowgli by Detmold - 1903 Jungle Book.

Rudyard Kipling was very keen on boy scouts and wrote a lot about boys.

Kipling wrote The Jungle Book (1894), Just So Stories (1902), Puck of Pook's Hill (1906), Kim (1901), Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), "If—" (1910), The Man Who Would Be King" (1888) and Plain Tales from the Hills (1888).

He won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

According to Raymond-Jean Frontain, Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) 'was one of the first international literary celebrities.'

According to Christopher Hitchens, in the June 2002 Atlantic Monthly (The Atlantic June 2002 A Man of Permanent Contradictions ...) :

"Kipling's most successful and polished achievement in prose, Kim (1901), is ... dependent on the idea of a double life.

"The boy is an orphan, raised to believe he is half-caste, and is 'passing' for Indian. (His father was an Irish soldier and his mother, we learn, a white camp follower.) The whole action of the story hangs on dissimulation and duality."

Martin Seymour-Smith wrote a biography of Kipling (Rudyard Kipling 1989).

Seymour-Smith believed that Kipling went in for dissimulation and led a double life.

According to Seymour-Smith, Kipling was in love with a young, American literary agent, Wolcott Balestier. When Wolcot died in 1891, a grief-stricken Kipling married Wolcot's 'unappealing' sister Caroline perhaps 'out of guilt over his homosexual desire'.

According to Christopher Hitchens (The Atlantic June 2002 A Man of Permanent Contradictions ...) :

"Angus Wilson was probably right in supposing him (Kipling) to have been in love with the young writer Wolcott Balestier, whose sudden and early death appeared to drive him to distraction. Those friends, including Henry James, who attended his bizarre, hasty wedding to Wolcott's mannish sister Caroline ... were somewhat at a loss to explain it any other way."

Kipling describes the boy Kim as having "singular, though unwashen, beauty." Kim resists the sexual advances of women. (Rudyard Kipling)

Kipling could be considered to be a bit of a right-wing militarist. Such people are usually gay.

Kipling was not good at writing about heterosexual love. His attempts were 'stilted' and 'wooden'. (Rudyard Kipling)

Kipling's closest friends were people like Henry James, Edmund Gosse, and Cecil Rhodes 'who are now recognized to have been discreet or closeted homosexuals.' (Rudyard Kipling)

Some of Kipling's contemporaries, such as writer Enid Bagnold, thought Kipling was probably gay.


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