Kipling again

I’m excited to be attending the Kipling in the News conference in London early in September. This was first announced ages ago, and originally set to happen in September 2020, and then postponed a year, because of the miserable circumstances in which we live. I shall be there at the City University in person, but scholars abroad will be contributing via a zoom link. So it will be a hybrid affair, and maybe a bit odd, but I’m sure it will be made to work.

My own paper (after two years with just a couple of measly Zoom outings) will be on ‘The Fun of Fake News: “The Village that voted the Earth was Flat” and “Dayspring Mishandled”’. I’ve been planning it for too long. These are two of my favourite stories. and I’ve too much to say. Getting it down to the right length is proving a problem…

Meanwhile, I’ve been looking at a Kipling paper I wrote for a conference a few years ago: the 2018 Bibliotherapy conference at the Senate House, which was a most enjoyable and illuminating affair. I’ve now added the text of that paper to the pieces of longer writing listed on this blog. I think a lot of the material has been covered elsewhere in the blog over the years, but I’m quite pleased with the reading of “Fairy-Kist”, and the link to Housman.

Anyway, you can read it here: Kipling’s ‘Fairy-Kist’ – Bibliotherapy Gone Mad.


  1. Roger Allen
    Posted August 26, 2021 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    “Wollin… happily continues with his eccentric practice of planting flower seeds on the verges of roads, lunatic by everyday standards, but to him a sensible, satisfying and absorbing practice.”

    I don’t know about “lunatic by everyday standards”. Friends of mine go in for “guerrilla gardening” with flowers and I plant the pips and stones of fruit I’ve eaten along the paths I walk along. I enjoyed damsons from a tree I planted years ago at lunch today.

    • Posted August 26, 2021 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Maybe we can could call Wollin’s activity lunatic because it seems to be the one purpose of his life, whereas for you, I suspect, it is a minor hobby.
      But no – you’re right. And what might have seemed lunatic in Kipling’s time is sensible and widespread behaviour today – just as practices that might have seemed totally acceptable then (especially to do with the killing of wild animals or the beating of children) today seem tending towards the unbalanced.

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: