Saturday, August 13, 2005

Kipling, Iraq and Bakewell Tarts.....

After a long and rather heated discussion with a colleague about the author of the line "at the end of the fight a tombstone white....."....we agreed to search the internet to get the money was on Kipling although I also knew that there was an American co-author whose name I couldn't remember (for the very interested the co-author's name was Wolcott Balestier)...and I won...well I have the advantage in that Kipling is one of my favourite writers.

Not much to report on the discussion...the interesting part came when I searched the line on the internet and saw that there were about fifteen articles about the war in Iraq that made use of this quotation.....

The quote in full....

"Now, it is not good for the Christian's health to
hustle the Aryan brown,

For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles,
and he weareth the Christian down;

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
with the name of the late deceased,

And the epitaph drear: 'A fool lies here who tried to hustle the East."

An amusing story about Kipling (the Brits amongst you are the only ones that will really understand this story straight away!)...

When my brother was about 9 years old, his boarding school organised a visit to Batemans which was Kipling's house.....the week before the visit he wrote a letter to my parents saying that he was going to visit a cake factory.....the next week's letter came from a very disappointed little boy who had been forced to walk through the very boring house and book collection of one Rudyard Kipling....and not a cake in sight!!!! Given that my brother loathes reading...the torture of Bateman's must have have been terrible!


Blogger friskodude said...

And to think, when I was a school child in Omaha, the only field trip we were offered was to the slaughter yards. Disgusting, but the biggest industry in town.

Mostly I remember the black men using chain saws to cut apart the hanging cow carcass. There is no other way to describe such an event, but then I was only 13 years old. I have never forgotten that scene.

8:17 am  
Blogger Madame Chiang said...

When we lived in The Gambia...we used to have to go down to the meat market to but all our meat....taking home half a cow in the back seat of the car is an experience I wont forget...although I did learn a fair amount about butchering a cow then!

9:03 am  
Anonymous paul said...

How did you become interested in Kipling and which do you prefer - the poetry or stories ?
He's an acquired and unusual taste.

2:52 pm  
Blogger Madame Chiang said...

Kipling...poetry.....when I was about five years old...I already had "If" posted to the wall by my bed...very corny...but magnificent poetry....

1:13 am  

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