Katherine Mansfield

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This Website is a work-in-progress, and your sympathetic engagement is invited. All your comments will be read. All your suggestions will be considered. Above all, we hope that Katherine Mansfield’s heroic example will spur on some young aspirant authors of today... Do not dream about ‘being a writer’. Write! If not now... when?

 

Cultural evaluation of Katherine Mansfield is itself a work-in-progress. Variously presented as a Bohemian, feminist, tragic archetype, modernist, and even saint, she is endlessly debateable. But when the admiring, scholarly and critical voices fall silent… who is left?  There can be no objective answer, no objective Website. For us Katherine Mansfield is best honoured for her “persistent yet mysterious belief in a self which is continuous and permanent; which, untouched by all we acquire and all we shed, pushes a green spear through the dead leaves and through the mould, until, one day, the light discovers it and shakes the flower free and - we are alive - we are flowering for our moment upon the earth." 

Katherine’s stories – playful and teasing, darkly satirical, lyrical and poignant – point us beyond words to a relationship with life that is profound and urgent. She dares us to open our eyes. Do not look for consistency. Against Katherine’s acute social observation and critique, her own reckless and naïve love affairs are ironically silhouetted. In her brief and vivid life she shared the stage with a small but glittering cast of allies and rivals. They and she lie beyond our judgement; yet perhaps they may speak to us as creatures who actually breathed and walked the earth – as we do now.

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