Stranger fiction: The Asian ghost tales of Rudyard Kipling and Lafcadio Hearn

Mary Goodwin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Rudyard Kipling was born in India in 1865 to a British art teacher and his wife, and after an education in England returned to work in Lahore in 1882 as an editor and writer on the Civil and Military Gazette. Identified with the British Empire body and soul, aesthetically and ideologically, Kipling frequently wrote of the soldiers and civil servants laboring on the frontier to advance the interests of the British Empire. Often in Kipling’s stories the colonial experience is seen to derange the colonizer and body forth an unease or dis-ease already latent within him. Kipling twists the genre to cast primary blame for the degradation of values on the Europeans themselves, whose latent corruption emerges when they are transposed to the frontier, and whose personal flaws prove their own undoing. If Kipling’s focus and main object of blame was the erring European, Lafcadio Hearn included hardly any Western figures at all in his writing on Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransnational Gothic
Subtitle of host publicationLiterary and Social Exchanges in the Long Nineteenth Century
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages237-254
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781317006886
ISBN (Print)9781409447702
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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