Kipling: war as ‘crazy cinema’

From a letter to Andrew Macphail, April 1917:

Make up your mind that we of this generation cannot overtake the war as it is. That will be done by the ’emotion recollected in quietude’ of our children – or our grandchildren. Even for us at the back emotion and passion is overlaid like a crazy cinema on passion and emotion till the whole thing is a blurr of white lights and flying faces.


  1. Jonathan
    Posted April 16, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I like the “blur.”

    It was, of course, the first newsreel war, and combat is still described with bewilderment as “like a movie.”

    Florence Ripley Mastin’s “At the Movies” (1916), describes the impact of newsreels on at least some film-goers.

    • Posted April 16, 2015 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Kipling himself wrote about the bewildering effect of film in the story ‘Mrs Bathurst’.

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