This book evaluates the parallels, divergences, and convergences in the literary legacies of Rudyard Kipling and William Butler Yeats. Coming 150 years after their birth, the volume sheds light on the conversational undercurrents that pull together the often diametrically polar worldviews of these two seminal figures of the English literary canon. Contextualizing their texts to the larger milieu that Kipling and Yeats lived in and contributed to, the book investigates a range of aesthetic and perceptual similarities – from cultures of violence to notions of masculinity, from creative debts to Shakespeare to responses to British imperialism and industrial modernity – to establish the perceptible consonance of their works. Kipling and Yeats are known to have never corresponded, but the chapters collected here show evidence of the influence that their acute awareness of each other’s work and thought may have had.
Offering fresh perspectives which make Kipling’s and Yeats’s diverse texts, contexts, and legacies contemporarily relevant, this volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of literature, critical theory, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, and comparative literature.
Table of Contents
Introduction: ‘When two strong men stand face to face’: locating Kipling with Yeats
PROMODINI VARMA AND ANUBHAV PRADHAN
PART I Influences and legacies
1 Yeats and Kipling: parallels, divergences, and convergences
2 Mowgli, the Law of the Jungle, and the Panchatantra
3 The ungendered self: Yeats’s ‘A Prayer for My Daughter’ in the light of Indian philosophy
4 Songs of the Wandering Aengus: echoes of the political Yeats in Dorothy Salisbury Davis’s The Habit of Fear
PART II Self and society
5 Yeats, Kipling, and The Haven-Finding Art
6 Transgressed margins: reading the ‘Other’ Kipling
7 ‘Turning from the mirror to meditation upon a mask’: Yeats’s search for his Daimon in ‘Ego Dominus Tuus’
AMIYA BHUSHAN SHARMA
8 Kim’s modern education: Rudyard Kipling the zealot
PART III Craft, medium, politics
9 The chameleon and the peacock: Kipling and Yeats as creative readers of Shakespeare
ROBERT S. WHITE
10 ‘The writer is indebted to the Pioneer and Civil and Military Gazette’: Kipling, newspapers, and poetry
11 Politics, drama, and poetry: the political vision of W.B. Yeats as reflected in select plays and poems
PRASHANT K. SINHA
12 Redefining the body of censorship: reading Rudyard Kipling’s Indian short stories (1888–1902)
INDRANI DAS GUPTA
13 Rudyard Kipling and the networks of empire: writing imperial infrastructure in The Light that Failed and Captains Courageous
PART IV Masculinity and/as empire
14 ‘The passionless passion of slaughter’: heroism and the aesthetics of violence
15 ‘I am not a Sahib’: boys and masculinity in Kipling’s Indian fiction
16 Does Kipling’s ‘If’ appropriate the Gita? Correlating Empire, Muscular Christianity, and Sthitaprajna
NANDITHA RAJARAM SHASTRY
17 Chaps: Kipling, Yeats, and the empire of men
Promodini Varma is Director (Admissions & Evaluations) at South Asian University, New Delhi, India. She was Principal at Bharati College, University of Delhi, until May 2015 and was part of the Department of English since the college’s inception. She has edited six textbooks for undergraduate students at the University of Delhi as well as translated some of Samuel Beckett’s plays into Hindi. Her research interests include South Asian literature, modern drama, and English Language Teaching.
Anubhav Pradhan is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia, India, and works on colonial ethnography and the British imagination of India. Simultaneously, he is also engaged in questions of affect, heritage, land, and identity with close reference to Delhi. He has served Primus Books as its Senior Marketing Editor and Bharati College, University of Delhi, as an Assistant Professor.