From Propaganda to Private Grief: Rudyard Kipling and World War I

Irene De Angelis (Università di Torino)

Abstract

Come molti suoi contemporanei, quali Rupert Brooke, Jessie Pope o Ian Hay, allo scoppio della Prima Guerra Mondiale Rudyard Kipling scrisse con fervore della necessità di combattere gli “Unni […] alle porte” (“For All We Have and Are”). Il ‘Grande Imperialista’ collaborava attivamente con il primo organo ufficiale di propaganda governativa, Wellington House. Con il progredire della guerra, tuttavia, il tono delle sue opere cambiò radicalmente dopo l’ottobre 1915, quando ai coniugi Kipling fu comunicato che il loro unico amato figlio maschio, John, diciottenne, era morto sul campo, e le sue spoglie non erano state trovate. Questo saggio partirà dalle poesie scioviniste di Kipling precedenti al 1915 fino a includere il racconto “The Gardener” (1925). Si metterà in luce come nonostante il suo estremo patriottismo, Kipling diede una dimensione universale al proprio personale dolore, nella speranza che “I loro nomi vivessero per sempre”.

DOI: 10.17456/SIMPLE-29

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