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Katherine Mansfield: In from the Margin

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Katherine Mansfield, born in Wellington, New Zealand, died near Paris in 1923, at the age of thirty-four. Since her death, the popular image of Mansfield has been of a short-story writer who never quite graduated to the major form of the novel. It is true that some scholars have long held that she raised the short story almost to the level of poetry, but most have viewed her as on the whole a marginal literary figure, at least as well known for her unsettled and nomadic personal life as for her literary output, ...
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Overview

Katherine Mansfield, born in Wellington, New Zealand, died near Paris in 1923, at the age of thirty-four. Since her death, the popular image of Mansfield has been of a short-story writer who never quite graduated to the major form of the novel. It is true that some scholars have long held that she raised the short story almost to the level of poetry, but most have viewed her as on the whole a marginal literary figure, at least as well known for her unsettled and nomadic personal life as for her literary output, which included four collections of stories published during her lifetime and one posthumous collection. Since the observance in 1988 of the centennial of Mansfield's birth, however, a new assessment of her place in the literary firmament has begun. This collection of twelve essays, edited and introduced by Roger Robinson, seeks, as the title suggests, to bring Mansfield "in from the margin," and argues that she was in fact a writer of major stature. The essays were written by scholars from three continents, who concur in locating Mansfield as a substantial and crucial figure in twentieth-century culture. Wide-ranging in their methodologies and philosophies, the essays draw variously on previously unanalyzed biographical materials, unpublished journals and letters, fresh readings of many of Mansfield's stories, and new insights into the origins of modern culture. They show that, far from being minor or imitative, as some have contended, Mansfield helped transform the English short story, bringing to the form a new fluidity and intensity. The first essay places Mansfield's work in the contexts of World War I and colonization, dealing with her ambivalent colonial and European identity and with images of the diseased body. The next explores her desire to maintain the innocence of youth - the cult of childhood - in her life as wall as much of her writing. Several of the pieces examine Mansfield's relationships with other women artists, including Colette and t
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A new assessment of Mansfield's writings since the observance in 1988 of the centennial of her birth has changed the view of her as a marginal literary figure. Twelve essays, written by scholars from three continents, show that Mansfield helped transform the English short story, bringing to the form a new fluidity and intensity. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807118658
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Pages: 209

Table of Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction: In from the Margin 1
"Finding the Pattern, Solving the Problem": Katherine Mansfield the New Zealand European 9
Katherine Mansfield and the Cult of Childhood 25
Katherine Mansfield Reading Other Women: The Personality of the Text 36
Katherine Mansfield and the Honourable Dorothy Brett: A Correspondence of Artists 53
The Middle of the Note: Katherine Mansfield's "Glimpses" 70
Reading "The Escape" 90
What the Reader Knows; or, The French One 112
My Katherine Mansfield 119
The French Connection: Francis Carco 137
The French Connection: Bandol 158
"Finding the Treasure," Coming Home: Katherine Mansfield in 1921-1922 173
Katherine Mansfield and Gurdjieff's Sacred Dance 189
Contributors 201
Index 203
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