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Posted December 6, 2008
Enjoy Kipling, but...
I've been reading Kipling since I was much younger than now, and am quite familiar with the esoteric slang of the Victorian British army. But I'm sure the specific meanings of many words and phrases, such as "Aggy Chel," and "pukka", and others seen throughout Kipling's work are totally lost on modern-day readers. This edition by Dodo Press does nothing to correct the problem. It uses no footnotes nor other explanations for these 19th century colloquialisms. The result is to stop the reader in mid-stanza with a puzzled look, and force him or her to try to work it out from the context of the piece, or scratch their heads and move on. Either way, the vitality of Kipling's work, and the reader's enjoyment of it are needlessly interrupted. This and other modern editions of Kipling's work need footnotes. And editors with enough professionalism to learn their meanings and include those in the text. It ain't rocket science, folks. Really it's not!
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