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Kipling's Art of Fiction 1884-1901$
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David Sergeant

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199684588

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199684588.001.0001

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Postscript: After Kim

Postscript: After Kim

(p.206) 6 Postscript: After Kim
Kipling's Art of Fiction 1884-1901

David Sergeant

Oxford University Press

This postscript to the book provides a brief account of Kipling’s career after Kim. It suggests some of the ways in which the divide between authoritarian and complex fiction, and the formal features identified in previous chapters, might have been further explored in works such as ‘“They”’, ‘Mrs Bathurst’, the farces, and the Puck volumes. It suggests that Kipling’s concern with the build-up to and prosecution of the First World War resulted in a dearth of complex work after 1904; and that the disastrous nature of the war, and Kipling’s grief and increasing sense of alienation after it, informed the production of late masterpieces such as ‘The Bull that Thought’, ‘The Church that Was at Antioch’, and ‘Dayspring Mishandled’. The narrative strategies and thematic concerns in those works connect with earlier complex fictions explored in this book, and demonstrate the ultimate unity of Kipling’s achievement.

Keywords:   Kipling, They, Mrs Bathurst, farces, Puck, First World War, grief, late masterpieces, narrative strategies

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