Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 313

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 313

“His work as a whole,” explained Bok.

“Creditable,” was the succinct answer.

“No more than that?” asked Bok.

“Can there be more?” came from the father.

“Well,” said Bok, “the judgment seems a little tame as applied to one who is generally regarded as a genius.”

“By whom?”

“The critics, for instance,” replied Bok.

“There are no such,” came the answer.

“No such what, Mr. Kipling?” asked Bok.

“Critics.”

“No critics?”

“No,” and for the first time the pipe was removed for a moment. “A critic is one who only exists as such in his own imagination.”

“But surely you must consider that Rud has done some great work?” persisted Bok.

“Creditable,” came once more.

“You think him capable of great work, do you not?” asked Bok. For a moment there was silence. Then:

“He has a certain grasp of the human instinct. That, some day, I think, will lead him to write a great work.”

There was the secret: the constant holding up to the son, apparently, of something still to be accomplished; of a goal to be reached; of a higher standard to be attained. Rudyard Kipling was never in danger of unintelligent laudation from his safest and most intelligent reader.

During the years which intervened until his passing away, Bok sought to keep in touch with Father Kipling, and received the most wonderful letters from him.

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