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Silent Conversations in Rudyard Kipling’s Kim and Ruskin Bond’s Rusty novels
journal contributionposted on 2022-03-23, 23:17 authored by Debasree GhoshDebasree Ghosh
The essay undertakes an analysis of the connections and conversations between Rudyard Kipling’s Kim (1901) and Ruskin Bond’s largely autobiographical Rusty (1955-) novels. Kipling’s Kim has evoked many literary responses and reactions across India. While writers such as Sarath Kumar Ghosh, Rabindranath Tagore, T.N. Murari, and even Sashi Tharoor have boldly written back to Kim, Ruskin Bond silently acknowledges it in his Rusty series of children’s fiction. At times, Bond’s pointed and conscious avoidance of Kipling becomes his means of accepting Kipling’s influence on him. The essay traces the implicit dialogue between these two Anglo-Indian authors and their protagonists. It undertakes a close reading of their novels to analyse the evolution of English literature and Anglo-Indianism in India, while also examining the divided identities of the authors and their fictional protagonists.