Rudyard Kipling

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

On Mowgli and Tarzan: Savage Reading for Civilized Readers

Despite the incorrigible march of civilization, there will always be an inborn appeal for feral fantasies. The howls of Romulus and Remus will never fade from Rome. The call of the world will never drown the call of the wild. No matter how much machinery is crammed into human life, the pulse of animal life, [...]

Rudyard Kipling’s “If–”: A Lesson In Manhood

For a particular poem to retain its power across years and generations, it must give expression to something that transcends the passing of time, and do so in such an exquisitely memorable manner that it simply cannot be imitated or remade. Competitors and critics may sally forth and give it battle; lesser authors may adopt [...]

Making Distinctions: The Value of Walls and Boundaries

The one and the many is an ancient philosophical puzzle. If the world weren’t a unity of some sort, it wouldn’t form a world. Still, there are a variety of things in it. How can both aspects be real, so that things are the same as well as different? It seems somehow more profound to [...]

Stalky and Co. by Rudyard Kipling

Kipling’s first book championing the great man “Stalky” is near the top of my list of must-read literature for adolescent men, though it is a book that I have never recommended to said young men.  The reason for my reticence finds basis in the all-too-abundant collection of “good naughties” that in the book one therein [...]

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