The content and discontents of Kipling's imperialism

Winter 1988

Perry looks at Kipling’s legacy as an imperial writer, which suffered greatly in the years after his death but has since undergone a reappraisal, in particular in the 1980s when his writings came out of copyright and were appropriated by the Tories in government. She considers Kipling as a visionary, with dreams of global conquest, in comparison with Conrad, who offers more ironic scepticism. Parry also looks at figures of sexual conquest in Kipling’s writing and the relationship between these and imperial themes, and at the representation of India as ‘Other’. Reading Kipling via the work of Edward Said and Frederic Jameson, she examines how he ‘mutes’ the indigenous Indian perspective in his works.

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