Katherine Mansfield: In from the Margin

Katherine Mansfield: In from the Margin

by Roger Robinson
     
 

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… See more details below

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in their methodologies and philosophies, the essays draw variously on previously unanalyzed biographical materials, unpublished journals and letters, fresh readings of many of Mansfield's stories, and new insights into the origins of modern culture.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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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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807118658
Publisher:
Louisiana State University Press
Publication date:
01/01/1994
Pages:
209
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

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