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The Cause of Humanity and Other Stories Reviews

The Cause of Humanity and Other Stories by Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Pinney (Pomona College, California)

The Cause of Humanity and Other Stories: Rudyard Kipling's Uncollected Prose Fictions

Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Pinney (Pomona College, California)

4.60 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 22 Nov 2018
ISBN: 9781108476423

This volume of previously uncollected short stories spanning the life of Rudyard Kipling offers readers some real rarities. Many of the stories are unknown in the West, having been printed only once in India, and some have not been published before.

4 stars out of 5
Noel Malcolm
9 Dec 2018

"when Kipling cranks up the comedy, it can be as roistering as anything in Dickens"

The humour can be pretty dry... But when Kipling cranks up the comedy, it can be as roistering as anything in Dickens... Only now, thanks to Thomas C Pinney (a mighty Kiplingologist, editor of his complete correspondence), do we have a definitive list, and a whole new book of these early pieces, many of which have never been reprinted before... The first thing that strikes you here is the sheer range of styles or genres, the narrative short story being just one of them. Fantasy and, especially, satire are given free rein... There is a brilliant parody of Tristram Shandy...

Reviews

5 stars out of 5
8 Dec 2018

"Pinney deserves the gratitude not just of completists among Kipling’s admirers"

The title story, alone worth buying the volume for, was written in June 1914 but never published, for the very reasons that make it a masterpiece. Its theme of dead bodies would, in the Great War, have been too much to take. If the modern reader does not shed a tear, there is something wrong with him... Pinney deserves the gratitude not just of completists among Kipling’s admirers. The pieces printed here represent work in progress in the making of a great writer, and in at least one of them, genius finds its perfect vehicle.

5 stars out of 5
31 Oct 2018

"This fascinating collection lays bare the early development of Kipling’s art"

Although clearly a draft that remains rough around the edges, “The Cause of Humanity” is so technically accomplished...and contains so much suggestive material that one wonders why Kipling suppressed it... Whatever the explanation, we should be grateful it is now in print. Like many of Kipling’s later stories it may lack the raw energy of his early Indian fiction, but it displays instead a technical sophistication that ranks him with his most progressive contemporaries. This fascinating collection lays bare the early development of Kipling’s art, before giving us a single, powerful glimpse of where it would take him.