Kim

Rudyard Kipling

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Beschreibung

An epic rendition of the imperial experience in India, and perhaps his greatest long work, the Penguin Classics edition of Rudyard Kipling's Kim is edited with an introduction by Harish Trivedi, and includes a general preface by Jan Montefiore.

Kim, orphaned son of an Irish soldier and a poor white mother, and the lama, an old ascetic priest, are on a quest. Kim was born and raised in India and plays with the slum children as he lives on the streets, but he is white, a sahib, and wants to play the Great Game of Imperialism; while the priest must find redemption from the Wheel of Things. Kim celebrates their friendship and their journeys in a beautiful but hostile environment, capturing the opulence of the exotic landscape and the uneasy presence of the British Raj. Filled with rich description and vivid characters, this beguiling coming of age story is considered to be Kipling's masterpiece.

Part of a series of new editions of Kipling's works in Penguin Classics, this volume contains a General Preface by Jan Montefiore and an introduction by Harish Trivedi placing the novel in its literary and social context.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay. In 1882 he started work as a journalist in India, and while there produced a body of work, stories, sketches and poems - notably Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) - which made him an instant literary celebrity when he returned to England in 1889. His most famous works include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901) and the Just So Stories (1902). Kipling refused to accept the role of Poet Laureate and other civil honours, but he was the first English writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, in 1907.

If you enjoyed Kim, you might like E.M. Forster's A Passage to India, also available in Penguin Classics.

'Kipling's last work is ... his best, and not easily comparable with the work of any other man'
Atlantic

"A work of positive genius, as radiant all over with intellectual light as the sky of a frosty night
with stars."
-The Atlantic Monthly

Produktdetails

Einband Taschenbuch
Herausgeber Harish Trivedi, Jan Montefiore
Seitenzahl 432
Erscheinungsdatum 29.11.2011
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-14-144237-2
Verlag Penguin Books Ltd
Maße (L/B/H) 19,8/13,1/2,7 cm
Gewicht 318 g
Verkaufsrang 24425

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  • Chapter I

    Oh ye who tread the Narrow Way

    By Tophet-flare to Judgment Day,

    Be gentle when the heathen pray

    To Buddha at Kamakura!

    He sat, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam- Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher-the Wonder House, as the natives call the Lahore Museum. Who hold Zam-Zammah, that "fire-breathing dragon," hold the Punjab; for the great green-bronze piece is always first of the conqueror's loot.

    There was some justification for Kim,-he had kicked Lala Dinanath's boy off the trunnions,-since the English held the Punjab and Kim was English. Though he was burned black as any native; though he spoke the vernacular by preference, and his mother-tongue in a clipped uncertain sing-song; though he consorted on terms of perfect equality with the small boys of the bazar; Kim was white-a poor white of the very poorest. The half-caste woman who looked after him (she smoked opium, and pretended to keep a second-hand furniture shop by the square where the cheap cabs wait) told the missionaries that she was Kim's mother's sister; but his mother had been nursemaid in a colonel's family and had married Kimball O'Hara, a young colour-sergeant of the Mavericks, an Irish regiment. He afterwards took a post on the Sind, Punjab, and Delhi railway, and his regiment went home without him. The wife died of cholera in Ferozepore, and O'Hara fell to drink and loafing up and down the line with the keen-eyed three-year-old baby. Societies and chaplains anxious for the child, tried to catch him, but O'Hara drifted away, till he came across the woman who took opium and learned the taste from her, and died as poor whites die in India. His estate at death consisted of three papers-one he called his "ne varietur" because those words were written below his signature thereon, and another his "clearance-certificate." The third was Kim's birth-certificate. Those things, he was used to say, in his glorious opium hours, would yet make little Kimball a man. On no account was Kim to part with them, for they belonged to a great piece of magic-such magic as men practised over yonder behind the Museum, in the big blue and white Jadoo-Gher-the Magic House, as we name the Masonic Lodge. It would, he said, all come right some day, and Kim's horn would be exalted between pillars-monstrous pillars-of beauty and strength. The Colonel himself, riding on a horse, at the head of the finest regiment in the world, would attend to Kim,-little Kim that should have been better off than his father. Nine hundred first-class devils, whose god was a Red Bull on a green field, would attend to Kim, if they had not forgotten O'Hara-poor O'Hara that was gang-foreman on the Ferozepore line. Then he would weep bitterly in the broken rush chair on the verandah. So it came about after his death that the woman sewed parchment, paper, and birth-certificate into a leather amulet-case which she strung round Kim's neck.

    "And some day," she said, confusedly remembering O'Hara's prophecies, "there will come for you a great Red Bull on a green field, and the Colonel riding on his tall horse, yes, and"-dropping into English-"nine hundred devils."

    "Ah," said Kim, "I shall remember. A Red Bull and a Colonel on a horse will come, but first, my father said, come the two men making ready the ground for these matters. That is how, my father said, they always did; and it is always so when men work magic."

    If the woman had sent Kim up to the local Jadoo-Gher with those papers, he would, of course, have been taken over by the Provincial Lodge and sent to the Masonic Orphanage in the Hills; but what she had heard of magic she distrusted. Kim, too, held views of his own. As he reached the years of indiscretion, he learned to avoid missionaries and white men of serious aspect who asked who he was, and what he did. For Kim did nothing with an immense success. True, he knew the wonderful walled city of L