Rudyard Kipling's Fiction by Lizzy Welby
Mapping Psychic Spaces (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture EUP)

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Synopsis

Reads Kipling's fiction through the lens of French feminism to reinstate the abjected maternal feminine in his art

'Alice Kelly's new edition of the journalism of Edith Wharton in First World War France is a valuable contribution to the literary history of the conflict. Here is a novelist, using all her skills as an eye witness to tell unknowing Americans of the staggering nature of a war the world had never seen before. A wonderful text, introduced with wit and authority.'
- Jay Winter, Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University

This study provides an entirely new reading of Kipling's fiction using the feminist psychoanalytic methodology of Julia Kristeva and Hélène Cixous, focusing particularly on ideas of the abjected maternal feminine. It examines Kipling's ambivalent relationship to the India of his childhood and the 'loss' of his mother figures. In doing so, it peels back the layers of masculine bravado that continues to characterize Kipling's fiction to reveal a valorized 'feminine' space. From readings of the 1888 story 'Baa Baa, Black Sheep' through The Jungle Book and Stalky & Co., Kim, The Day's Work, Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies, Lizzy Welby demonstrates that Kipling created ways of rediscovering a symbolised feminine landscape as a restorative space, which was part of his 'psychic mapping'.

Key Features:

Demonstrates a steady development through Kipling's long and extensive writing career
Provides insights into the man and his art as well as providing a new way of reading Kipling
References a considerable range of scholarly and biographical work on Kipling, historical and cultural studies of nineteenth century India
Offers close reading of passages from Kipling's fiction, showing how a feminised landscape is violated by (masculine) technological developments
 

About Lizzy Welby

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Lizzy Welby teaches at the College Fançais Bilingue de Londres, London. She is an elected Council Member of The Kipling Society and has edited, with an introduction, Rudyard Kipling: Selected Verse (CRW Publishing, 2012). She has published articles on Rudyard Kipling, James Joyce, Angela Carter and Sylvia Plath. She is also winner of the 2014 Lorian Hemingway Short story Competition for a story entitled, 'The Breakers'.
 
Published May 1, 2015 by Edinburgh University Press. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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