Biography of Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Poet and Narrator British born in Bombay (India) on 30 December 1865 and died in London on 18 January 1936. Author of an interesting poetic production which exalts the individual freedom and the creative capacity of the human being, is primarily remembered today for its splendid prose of fiction, in which explores the complex relationships between the individual and society, and postulated the need to grant primacy to moral laws that control the primal impulses of man. Loyal Defender throughout his whole oeuvre, of British colonialism (from the pseudodarwiniana perspective that is necessary - and even mandatory - extend the culture of a nation "superior" to other "inferior" or more backward peoples), was the first citizen of the nationalities who received the Nobel Prize for literature, which was awarded by the Swedish Academy in 1907 "in recognition of the ability of observation", imaginative originality, virility of ideas and memorable talent for storytelling that characterizes all the literary production of this world-famous author".


Born in a family in which a dense intellectual - artistic atmosphere they breathed his father, the painter John Lockwood Kipling, was a specialist in Indian handicrafts that serving as director of the artistic School of Lahore, the Museum soon became a direct-, received a careful education, initiated in Southsea (England), where the small Joseph Rudyard was sent just six years old (1871) as a child. During this period of his childhood, the future writer stayed at home for an elderly relative, isolated in a dense loneliness that left him a murky memory, as then was commissioned to reflect in a famous story titled "Baa, baa, black seep" ("Bee, bee, black sheep"), collected in the volume of Wee Willie Winkie tales... (1888); in this brief narration, Kipling satirizó some aspects of school life, but showed his admiration for the British educational tradition. This respect for the severe standards of conduct of the British internees returned to is evident in the stories of his collection entitled Stalky & Co. (Stalky and company, 1899), in which Kipling recalled his step, already in full puberty (1878-1881), by the United Services College of Westward Ho (located in the County of Devonshire), an academic institution for children of military and civil servants in the service of the British Crownwhere the rigour and the roughness of the masters sought to instill in learners the rigid principles of Victorian morality.

Aside from personal experience (which British writer recalled fondly in his adulthood, despite the severity and the loneliness that they wrapped him), Joseph Rudyard Kipling showed a surplus talent for the study, early knowledge of the humanities-oriented at this stage of his training. In 1882, when even he/she had not fulfilled the seventeen years of age, he/she returned to Lahore as a Deputy Director of Civil and Military Gazetta, publication which was already known for its literary, embodied precocity in new poems that had seen the light in English territory under the title of Schoolboy Lyrica (Lyric of a school). But it was his return to the India that pushed him definitively toward literary creation, after experiencing the relations between Westerners and the indigenous population, have been reaffirmed in his idea positive about "civilizing function" of the British people, and have returned to historical awareness of the cultural wealth of their place of origin (but not from the exotic and colorful perspective of eventual visitor(, but as part of this ancient tradition, despite his British nationality, was from the very first moment of his birth). These ideas, which would constitute the main thematic nucleus of his literary production, began to appear in the poems of Departrnental Ditties (departmental ditties, 1886), his first significant book, consisting of a series of vigorous notes that, at the time that reflected between teasing and really the shape of daily life that the young Kipling discovered to his around, showed his admiration for the social and cultural achievements, imposed by the British domination.

Identical ideological and anecdotal value presented its two publications below, two collections of stories, published under the titles of Soldiers Three (three soldiers, 1887), and Plain Tales from the Hills (simple tales of the hills, 1887), awarded already a well-deserved literary prestige, based primarily on his unique ability for the description of customs, anecdotes, landscapes and human figures. Immersed, already at that time, in a febrile creative dynamic, after seven years working as a journalist in the India returned to England and settled in London, where he/she began to gain popularity for his semi-autobiographical novel The Light that Failed (the light that is extinguished, 1890, also translated into Spanish under the title of in darkness), its volume of stories Life completo Handicap (life's obstacles1891), and, above all, for his collection of poems entitled Barrack-Room Ballads (ballads of room of barracks, 1892), a splendid collection of lyrical texts which constituted a radical novelty in the poetry of the English of the time, because until then no one he/she had been inspired in the national army to sing a hymn to freedom.

With little more than twenty-five years of age, Joseph Rudyard Kipling had become one of the favorite authors of the readers of Victorian England, with consequent concerns expressed by an elitist criticism that has not seen with good eyes the excessive frankness of his verses nor boast of virility patriotic deployed in all his writings. Fully integrated into the main forums and London literary Cenacle, in 1892 he/she collaborated in the writing of the novel, The Naulahka with writer and editor American C. W. Balestier, with whose sister Caroline contracted nuptials in the course of that same year. After undertaking a long journey through the most remote lands of the world, the marriage settled on a property from the Balestier family in the US State of Vermont, where Kipling continued deploying a tireless creative activity that led him to write some of his masterpieces, as collections of stories, Many Inventions (several inventions, 1893) and The Day's Work (the daily work1898) - which consecrated him as a true specialist in the culture of the brief narrative, - poems The Seven Seas (the seven seas, 1896) which introduced another thematic innovation in English poetry of his time: the exaltation of the machinery and technological advances-; and extensive narratives The jungle book (the book of the forest, 1894) and The second jungle book (1895).

In 1896, an absurd dispute with his brother-in-law increased the unpopularity of the Kipling in the State of Vermont, so marriage left the United States of America to return to take up residence in London. After the emergence of the successful novel of adventure Captains courageous (daring captains, 1897) and of the aforementioned compilation of stories Stalky & Co. (Stalky and company, 1899), Kipling and his family tried to settle in North America, in search of a more favourable climate to recover from serious lung ailment that had come to the writer. But this second visit to the United States had fatal consequences for the family, since, although Kipling successfully recovered from his illness, he/she lost there to his beloved daughter, the victim of the same evil (pneumonia) that he/she had been fleeing.

He, meanwhile, established relations of friendship and ideological complicity with some conservative politicians such as future US President Theodore Roosevet, who admired his vehement defence of Western imperialism, embodied in those years in two Odes of declared ideological inspiration: "Recessional" (1897), which celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of Queen Victoria, and "The White Man completo Burden" ('the burden of the white man", 1899), in which Kipling, already assumed his public status "Prophet of imperialism", urged the United States to undertake missions of support and promotion of development in the developing countries.

At the beginning of the new century, Kipling gave to the printer which is perhaps his best novel, Kim (1901), which dealt with excellent narrative pulse the conflict between the religious values of the ancient Asian cultures and Western rationalism. A year later, Kipling acquired a country house in a remote village of the ancient Saxon Kingdom of Sussex, and settled there with the intention to devote itself solely to writing, while he/she relegated his wife the management of all his roles (certainly hard work, in view of the substantial benefits that had been gaining for several years, the massive sales of his works). Businessman and British colonizer Cecil John Rhodes, defending a clear racial bias imperialism enthusiast, kept a solid friendship with Kipling, who gave a house in South Africa where the writer spent long winter seasons in its last years of existence.

The same year in which settled in the village of Sussex, Kipling was pleasantly surprised critics and readers with the brief and imaginative prose of Just so stories (just as well, 1902) - a lyrical homage, not without some sarcasm, to the lost paradise of children, and continued then cultivating advantageous maturely brief narrative, genre that provided other titles as bright as Traffics and Discoveries (circulation and discoveries1904), Puck in Pook completo hill (Puck of Pook Hill, 1906) - notable foray into themes and environments of the medieval tradition-, Actions and Reactions (actions and reactions, 1909), Rewarsd and Fairies (rewards and fairies, 1910) - continuation of Puck in Pook completo hill-Debits and Credits (debts and credits, 1926), and Limits and Renewals (limits and renewals, 1932). Voluntarily away from the London publishing hubbub, lived with clearance from the proceeds of the sale of his books, much more widespread all over the world - paradoxically - the greater was the intellectual isolation of its author, poorly appreciated in progressive cultural circles of Europe and America. He/She continued to hold some contacts - although each time more spaced as his disenchantment of public life - with conservative political supporters was evident, as the imperialist domain; but, happy and accommodated in the shelter, systematically rejected all honors and tributes that was called, until the decision of the Swedish Academy of giving Nobel Prize - widely criticized by progressive intellectuals of all the world - forced him to leave his rural retreat for a short period of time.

The outbreak of the first world war came to get, in part, of this isolation, but by dramatic circumstances, because in it he/she lost one of his sons. In 1915, the direction of the prestigious Rotary American Los Angeles Times, aware of the interest that aroused the news of a war that, at the time, seemed only a European war alien to American interests, got hire Kipling as correspondent responsible for informing Americans of the conflict on the continent. This was one of the latest comebacks of Kipling in the panorama social and culture of his time, because at the end of the war, the new avant-garde trends that were quickly disseminated by Europe and part of America placed emphasis on the aesthetic and ideological gap of his literary production (which, however, was still enjoying the popular favor). Completely away from the artistic and intellectual routes that triumphed in the decades of the twenties and thirties, lost his life in London at the beginning of 1936, while he/she was writing a memoir intending to give to the press under the title of something of myself (and which, unfinished, remained unpublished until the end of the 20th century). Five years later, the great poet and Anglo-American critic Thomas Stearns Eliot claimed, to the astonishment of critics, readers, and publishers, the undoubted successes of his poetic production, when already since 1937, thanks to the first film of one of his works version - intrepid captains, shot by the American filmmaker Victor Fleming-, his prose fiction returned to recover the enormous predicament that it had enjoyed before the irruption of the avant-garde.



The poetic production of Rudyard Kipling's great popularity among English-speaking readers until after the first world war, achieved its first great remarkable success following the emergence of Barrack-Room Balads (ballads of room of barracks, 1892), a collection of lyrical compositions in which, for the first time in British poetry, was intended to investigate the ethical and political sense of the English domain in the Indiathe passage is trying to focus on this colonial presence from a perspective open to freedom, creativity and human development. Other poems of Kipling followed captivating English readers until the new literary tastes imposed by the ground-breaking of the avant-garde innovations arrumbaron a now certainly outdated poetry; but, at the beginning of the 1940s, the critical zeal of the aforementioned T. S. Eliot "rediscovered" the poet born in Bombay and claimed the undoubted aesthetic achievements of some songbooks of his as The seven seas (the seven seas, 1896). Among these merits, the poet and Anglo-American critic stressed the powerful rhythm of the poetry of Kipling - debtor, in good measure, the marked cadences of Methodist hymns that had been repeated ad nauseam during his severe school-; metric mastery of ballad master, and certainly the sincerity shown by the poet at the time of capture in his verses its particular vision of the poetizados arguments, sincerity that exasperated - as has embraced above - the more traditionalist sector of English criticism of his time, and that, although had the admiration of most of the readersIt also outraged some important figures in British public life - including, Queen Victoria, who was referred in one minor of Kipling, The Widow poems at Windsor (the widow of Windsor).

There is also, in the poetry of Kipling, beside this positive interpretation of a social, political and economic phenomenon and culture as it is imperialism, an enthusiastic exaltation of the individual energy of the intrinsic capacity of the human being to achieve, since its own overcoming, improvements that lead to the harmony of the collective life. This is well apparent in one of his most famous poems, entitled "If" ("Yes") and dedicated to his son: "If you can keep intact your strength / when all hesitate to your around." If when all doubt, trust in your value / and at the same time know to exalt its weakness. [...] / / If you can support your sincere phrase / be fools in the mouth of evil trap. / Or shredded look made your worships chimera / and turn to forge it nicked supplies. If all your winnings by putting in a lot / risk them, daring, in a stroke of chance / and lose them, and then, with bravo heart, / not to mention your losses, go back to start. If you can keep in tough fight / alert thinking and taut muscle, / to use it when in you all flagging / less will which says "go!". If peat wrap virtue give. If they can not hurt you neither friend nor enemy. If marching with Kings of the pride you have triumphed. If you're good with all but not too much. And if you can fill the precise minute / in sixty seconds of a supreme effort, / yours is the Earth and everything in it inhabits, / and what's more: will be a man my son... "."

Work in prose

The book of the jungle (1894) and the second book of the jungle (1895)

After having already offered a large sample of his skill as a prose writer in his collections of short stories, and after the publication of a mediocre novel of vague autobiographical inspiration - The Light that Failed (the light that is extinguished, 1890)-, Rudyard Kipling embarked fully on the generic scope of the fable to address some of their permanent concerns, such as the relationship of the individual with the social environment surrounding him and the need to always find, from the foundations of ethics, moral laws that regulate the natural instincts of man. The jungle book (the book of the forest, 1894) and The second jungle book (1895) - reunited, according to subsequent editorial criteria, under the title of the book of the Virgin Lands - narrate the various vicissitudes that crosses Mowgli, a boy raised from birth by a she-Wolf, and whose unique habitat is the jungle India, which is completing an arduous process of learning surrounded by animals that, at his side, starring numerous stories strung by Kipling in this simple thread. "Human" is Mowgli's formation, as well, directed by examples that give you grumpy - but always measured and judicious - bear Baloo, the Black Panther Bagheera - symbolizing that capacity of effort, risk and adventure so expensive to the idealistic vision that housed Kipling about the man-, and, among other irrational beings (although here very reflective and brainy), the serpent Kaaa white Python that embodies, in its wisdom, the mistico-cultural tradition of ancient India. Front them extends the constant threat of the Tiger Shere Khan, representative of the evil and the destruction of the values of solidarity that make up what might be called "the law of the jungle", and ultimately defeated and humiliated by the young Mowgli, who thus culminates its hard learning process.

Apart from the formal and thematic requirements of fable, and the apparent didactico-moral voice of a work aimed at young readers, the book of the Virgin Lands puts illustrates one of the fundamental obsessions in the ideology of Kipling: the need to create and maintain a social and legal structures which, covered in a moral orderthey are the unchanging basis of society and prevent that this rush towards its dissolution. In Kipling's work - and, of course, in the depths of his thought-of human social action only makes sense in so far as it is used in the creation and conservation of these codes, rules and structures which make possible the coexistence. Hence his permanent fascination with any collective human - e, even animal, as in the jungle book - which, like the army or the school, held by ties of loyalty, solidarity and obedience to the hierarchy; and hence also that his idyllic vision of the jungle, after the friendly background of the fable, a metaphor for social harmony which should always prevail the judgement of Baloo, Bagheera boldness and wisdom of Kaa, above the destructive desires of Shere Khan.

Kim (1901)

Also as a learning and adventure novel you can read another masterpiece of Rudyard Kipling, Kim (1901), although his background underlies a denser level that talks about the advantages of racial and cultural syncretism, the search for peace and truth as safe roads towards universal harmony and, therefore, towards the encounter with the Supreme being. Kimball O'Hara, called for all "Kim", is an orphan boy from his early childhood, son of an Irish Sergeant and an English citizen residing in the India. In her helplessness, has lost any reminiscence of the culture of their elders: lives in Lahore as one more indigenous, think like them and use only your language (Hindustani). In the city meets Teshoo, old Such-Zen Monastery lama, who, already released from capricious swings in the Rueda de la Fortuna-i.e. the ambitions of the worldly life-, has left in search of the river of the arrow, whose purifying waters get that who bathe in them lose all residue of sin. The Buddhist priest - authentic guide in the process of learning of the young Kim - is a message that entrusted him with Mahabud-Ali, a trafficker of horses who worked for the British secret service in the India. Kim accompanies the santon in the search for the purifying River, and the Regiment in which his father had served both encounter in the course of his pilgrimage. To be recognized as an English citizen, Kim is forced to assume their duties of Western: abandon the santon, attends school and just being destined to the secret service. Happens so to be part of "The Great Game" ("the great game"), known as the Organization of spies in the service of the British Crown, and, over the course of several missions carried out with great waste of effort and courage, reaching understanding - from the imperialist Kipling's standpoint, is clear - the real importance of colonial rule. Finally, he/she reunites with his old master, and accompanies him on his way back to the mountain.

The argument seeded in Kim candling, Rudyard Kipling appears not as the mere defender of imperialism which, according to its detractors, took the "unofficial" role of singer with the pax britannica imposed by United Kingdom citizens from their colonial Territories, but rather as a moralist fully convinced, in their inner selves, of the need to extend development on secular disadvantaged areas. Conscious, in the background, that British imperialism walking strides towards their decline and disappearance, not limited to enhance its values and to proclaim the need for its conservation, but trying to prove that the "superiority" of Western institutions is the only guarantor of a society based ethical and moral codes which, at the same timethey make development possible. In this sense, his sincere belief in that not everyone is qualified to govern is very significant, and which are them is obliged to do so.


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