Mr. Eliot’s Kipling

"Mr. Eliot's Kipling." The Nation, October 16, 1943.


Kipling belongs irrevocably to our past, and although the renewed critical attention he has lately been given by Edmund Wilson and T. S. Eliot is friendlier and more interesting than any he has received for a long time, it is less likely to make us revise our opinions than to revive our memories of him. But these memories, when revived, will be strong, for if Kipling belongs to our past, he belongs there very firmly, fixed deep in childhood feeling. And especially for liberals of a certain age he must always be an interesting figure, for he had an effect upon us in that obscure and important part of our minds where literary feeling and political attitude meet, and effect so much the greater because it was so early experienced; and then for many of us our rejection of him was our first literary-political decision.

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