Posts from 12th May 2011

May 11

wtf moments rereading kipling #4

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“We entered the back room where everything was in order, and a screeching canary made us welcome. The uncle had added sausages and piles of buttered toast to the kippers. The coffee, cleared with a piece of fish-skin, was a revelation.” —From 1911’s ‘The Horse Marines’, in 1917’s A Diversity of Creatures, bold mine. And WAIT! WHUT!?? What can “cleared” mean that you can do with FISH-SKIN, and the coffee be good? Emmanuel Pyecroft is a semi-amusingly prankish naval fellow whose conversational agility somewhat prefigures Wodehouse, who lives with his uncle when not at sea. To be fair, Kipling being Kipling, a “revelation” may NOT AT ALL mean good: but Pyecroft is playing the sincerely fulsome host here…