KIPLING'S SUSSEX - online book

An illustrated descriptive guide, to the places mentioned in
the writings of Rudyard Kipling.

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INTRODUCTION                       15
pages of " Rewards and Fairies," which distil and drip with ancient peace, he is not indifferent to beauty, but it takes a second place—precision and vigour come first. He will guide you with strong, firm hands to see, hear and touch and smell—how gloriously does he write of smells—what he describes as vividly as black and white printed matter can do it, and if he can transport the reader's mind with a word picture that is incon­sistent with an aesthetic quality, well, the cult of the beautiful is swept out of the way. Mr. Desmond MacCarthy must be quoted on the gripping power of Kipling's metaphors. Thus :
" His metaphors and comparisons are chosen (and he uses them, like all vivid writers, perpetually), with com­plete disregard of their associations and overtones. To take an example from these letters of travel: ' There was never a cloud in the sky that rested on the snow-line of the horizon as a sapphire on white velvet.' We have all seen a sapphire on white velvet in a jeweller's window, and it calls up vividly the intense blue of the sky seen above a snowfield ; yet the comparison destroys at once the beauty of it. But here is a passage in which the very disregard of associations has flowered in a perfect phrase; Mr. Kipling is describing a Canadian winter scene—deep snow is on the ground :
' Rain makes a granulated crust over all, in which white shagreen the trees are faintly reflected. Heavy mists go up and down and create a sort of mirage, till
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