Journal of Modern Literature
In 1909, Forster delivered a scathing lecture about Rudyard Kipling, which outlines the political dangers implicit in Kipling's aesthetic. This introduction to the lecture briefly examines Forster's critique of Kipling's politics and aesthetic found in both the lecture and subsequent reviews of Kipling's work. Central to Forster's critique is his conviction that contemporary culture is and should be moving from authoritarian to democratic political systems. While Forster acknowledges Kipling's power and skill as a writer, he suggests that Kipling's aesthetic genius belongs to an earlier stage in the world's development, when authoritarian political models dominated. Within Forster's aristocratic democracy, Kipling's poetry is not only found wanting; it is politically debilitating and dangerous.
Journal of Modern Literature © 2007 Indiana University Press
Lackey, Michael, "E.M. Forster's Lecture "Kipling's Poems": Negotiating the Modernist Shift from "the Authoritarian Stock-in Trade" to an Aristocratic Democracy" (2007). English Publications. 23.