Kyarghnaal Language

Kyarghnaal Language
The Language of the Hills of Arlinga

Monday, 7 January 2013

Chapter Headings

As many of you may know, I greatly admire the writings of Rudyard Kipling, and of all his novels possibly my favorite is Kim.  A more personal, polished work of fiction would be hard to find, and for all that some call his writing racist, very often his native characters are more intelligent and heroic than the English.

One feature of Kim which especially intrigues me is the chapter headings, and how they relate to and interact with the chapter to follow.  Take for instance "The Sea and the Hills", one stanza of which is used at the head of a chapter in which Kim and the lama venture into the high Hills to the North of India.

"Who hath desired the Sea—the immense and contemptuous surges? 
The shudder, the stumble, the swerve ere the star-stabbing bowsprit merges— 
The orderly clouds of the Trades and the ridged roaring sapphire thereunder— 
Unheralded cliff-lurking flaws and the head-sails' low-volleying thunder? 
His Sea in no wonder the same—his Sea and the same in each wonder— 
His Sea that his being fulfils? 
So and no otherwise—so and no otherwise hill-men desire their hills!"

From here we enter a vivid sea of slopes and peaks, into which the lama leads Kim at a killing pace through the thinning air.  The chapter heading provides such an effective appetizer for the reader that the hardships of the characters become enjoyable.  

My latest work features chapter headings as well, and I can only hope that they will be as effective for me as they have been for others.  Poetry, sections of royal histories, and proverbs are represented, many attributed to various figures in the ancient kingdom of Arlinga.  

The following prefaces a chapter in which the heroes take their leave of an ancient city in order to go out and see new lands.  It was written by an ancient king who was weary of court life, and desired to go out among his people.

"My bed is of gilt, my shirt is of pearls, 
The stones of my palace are polished and fitted,
The slopes are aglow.

But how far is the sea and the sails unfurled,
How smells the forest where falcons have flitted,
How looks the snow?"

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