Kim - never was such a chela
Every morning I take the bus into my beautiful Georgian town, and I read. Today I finished Kim, surrounded by school children. I had read that one of the themes was love, but I remained to be convinced. But the final scene convinced me that not only was love a theme, it is a key theme. Without Teshoo Lama's love for Kim, Kim would not have gone to a good school and joined the Great Game. Without Kim's love for the Lama, he may not have survived to find his River of the Arrow and attain release from the Wheel of Life.
To draw yet another religion into the diversity of Kipling's novel, Kim is the yin to the Lama's yang. Kim is of the road and the bazaar, of the field and of the crowds, he is of talking and eating. The Lama is of the open, cold hills and of the spirit, he is of lecturing and silence. Together they allow the novel to paint its expansive, all encompassing portrait of humanity, of humanity within the great humanity of India.
The edition I have (ISBN 978-0-393-96650-3) includes short stories, poems, maps, contemporary reviews, and essays. I'm particularly interested in learning more about the imperial context, and the ways in which we can interpret the stereotypes in the novel. Without doubt I'll be returning to some of the topics I've already covered, almost certainly with more nuanced if not altogether different views.
When I finish a novel I am always excited about starting something different, taking something fresh onto the bus and opening the new pages in the yellow light. This time I will carry on with the same volume but there's everything exciting about these essays. I will be immersing myself in criticism, in the academic world of literature. I have been doing this somewhat since I started this blog, but now I will be reading a lot more. I've not done this since university and I can feel the love for literary learning coming flooding back and it's thrilling me to my core.