Yet more propaganda
Posted by Art on August 07, 1998 at 08:45:51:
In response to Propaganda, Narnia and Kipling, written by Linden on August 06, 1998 at 21:16:33
Not to belabor this wretched and by now thoroughly bludgeoned point, but it's a mistake, I think, to look at a writer only through a certain prism of present day values and beliefs. I think it's very misleading to characterize the stories as propaganda: they're written from a distinctive point of view, certainly, but they are much more than a series of tracts. The Narnia books are to me and many others thoroughly delightful and interesting stories that have made a strong impact on our lives. To the hapless individual who raised the original question, and is perhaps frightened away from the books by now, I can say that you're in for a wonderful reading experience.
] By the way, may I take issue with your assessment of Kipling? I used to believe that he was racist until I taught Eng Lit in Nigeria in a school which had an ageing collection of books from the colonial period, and not much money to buy new books, so we had to make do with what was available. To my amazement, the students loved Kipling and Walter Scott! So I took a closer look at them, and found that there was a lot more going for them than I had believed. I don't think that Kipling was much of a racist for his time, though he was an ardent colonialist, I agree.
I adore Kipling, but I still think it's accurate to characterize him as a racist, certainly by present-day standards. In saying this I don't mean to detract from his stature in any way; he's a marvelous writer. And you're right, too, that his racism was no more than was prevalent in Victorian society. And as a cigar smoker myself, some sentiments are indeed timeless:
"A woman is only a woman,
But a good cigar is a Smoke."
- and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar :-) (nfm) Jane 23:18:10 8/07/98 (1)
- But it's always a Smoke (I hope you got the reference) nfm Art 00:05:20 8/08/98 (0)
- Not at all Constanza 11:54:30 8/07/98 (2)
- Once again...... Alexandra 11:06:12 8/07/98 (0)
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