Rudyard Kipling: On Complicated Literary Obsessions

Eleonora Narbone with Nacho Oliden

Cultural Obsessions, Episode 2

Welcome to the second episode of ‘Cultural Obsessions’, a series organised for Meltemi Podcast, the official podcast for La Piccioletta Barca magazine.

In this episode, Eleonora speaks to Ignacio Oliden on one of his Cultural Obsessions: author and poet Rudyard Kipling.

A very much discussed literary, political and cultural figure, Kipling’s literature is much more complex than what his disgraceful attributes illustrate. For Ignacio, Kipling represents the craft of fable, of storytelling, of song, and with that, Ignacio’s own way of perceiving literature has been shaped with a criteria based on the economy of words, and a sense of adventure, of fantasy and of music, which Ignacio wants to find in his readings, and of which he dreams of invoking in his writings.

We will talk about reading and maintaining afloat controversial authors, and we will discuss the reading of one of Ignacio’s favourite short stories, ‘The Finest Story in the World’, from Many Inventions (1893), in which Ignacio finds a story that fills in for the autobiography, the aesthetic essay, the poetry, and meets his requirements of the dramatic emotion and imagination. Our guest confesses taking this short story as a criticism and writing manual for himself.

If you'd like to read some poems by Kipling translated into Spanish by Ignacio, here's the link (bilingual English & Spanish versions): https://buenosairespoetry.com/2021/07/25/4-poemas-de-rudyard-kipling/

On separating the author from the man: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/in-defense-of-rudyard-kipling-and-the-jungle-books/2016/08/02/86f5cb38-559c-11e6-b7de-dfe509430c39_story.html?fbclid=IwAR1zKpGWYPPVWxH2tMIY3MFzmDOL9rljvBw3EAFClgF0wyji2cuDbcpBxYk

On discussion about his work: https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2018/10/rudyard-kipling-racism-sexism-misogyny-imperialism-colonialism-fiction

A watch Kipling giving a speech about truth on writing in 1933 to the Royal Society of Literature, in Canada: https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2012/07/26/watch-kipling-on-truth-in-writing-1933/

Eleonora Narbone with Nacho Oliden

Eleonora holds an MA in History of Art and a BA in Modern Languages. Having always loved reading, she's taking the plunge and started writing. A strange character indeed, mostly known for making absolutely appalling jokes, she loves going to the seaside throughout the year, not only during the summer. Her interests vary from very basic tv to highbrow films. She promises good chat, but can't promise great literature. || In charge, with Facundo, of the translation column Paraphrasis, I share hidden or forgotten treasures with the literary world. I find LPB an extraordinary point of encounter for cultures and arts, for discovering new authors, and for enjoying life in its poetic form, whether it be reading the submissions, or talking with the editing crew.

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