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Katherine Mansfield: In from the Margin

por Roger Robinson

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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, 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in their methodologies and philosophies, the essays draw variously on previously unanalyzed biographical materials, unpublished journals and letters, fresh readings of many of Mansfield's stories, and new insights into the origins of modern culture.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 the painter Dorothy Brett, and Mansfield's treatment of women in her stories. Considerations of Mansfield's literary skills are the focus of essays that provide revealing readings of such stories as "The Escape," "Bliss," "Je ne parle pas francais," and "A Married Man's Story." Her experiences in various locales, particularly France, are the subject of three of the contributions, which include the first full assessment in English of the bohemian writer Francis Carco, her "indiscreet" Parisian lover. The concluding essay treats the final months of Mansfield's short life, when she was drawn to seek spiritual solace with the holistic philosopher George Gurdjieff." "This authoritative collection does much to bring Katherine Mansfield the sort of critical attention she has long deserved. It will be of interest to students of the twentieth-century short story, of modernism, and of writing by and about women."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porLeftBankSalon, Prytania, ndrose, europhile
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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, 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 the painter Dorothy Brett, and Mansfield's treatment of women in her stories. Considerations of Mansfield's literary skills are the focus of essays that provide revealing readings of such stories as "The Escape," "Bliss," "Je ne parle pas francais," and "A Married Man's Story." Her experiences in various locales, particularly France, are the subject of three of the contributions, which include the first full assessment in English of the bohemian writer Francis Carco, her "indiscreet" Parisian lover. The concluding essay treats the final months of Mansfield's short life, when she was drawn to seek spiritual solace with the holistic philosopher George Gurdjieff." "This authoritative collection does much to bring Katherine Mansfield the sort of critical attention she has long deserved. It will be of interest to students of the twentieth-century short story, of modernism, and of writing by and about women."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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