But warm eager living life to be rooted in life to learn to desire to know to feel to think to act That is what I want And nothing less That is WHAT I MUST TRY FOR IT I must try for It hard to evaluate these letters and journals from KM since they were selected by John Middleton Murry who destroyed writings that didn t fit his own idea of what KM s legacy should be Not least they play down her ambiguous relationship with JMM himself her flirtations and affairs but also perhaps the extent to which they
failed each other In that sense it s worth reading these extracts alongside each other In that sense it s worth reading these extracts alongside biography What comes through is KM s lovely writing as well as a somewhat mediated image of her as a tragic heroine and I can t help thinking how that reflects on JMM himself as I suspect he did What we don t really find here is the KM who could also be malicious and spiteful who raged who whined at times who felt entitled to than she hadThe journals are a mixture of diary entries along with jottings for her fiction unposted letters thoughts on her reading At times we can trace ideas and images that make their way into her stories Most importantly we et a strong sense of voice KM is always characterful and even when she s suffering in pain at her most vulnerable there s a coolly analytical side of her that we can feel watching ready to use this material in her work I just wish we had access to her journals in original unmediated form i read this for the same reason i read Short Stories i m writing a comparative essay on Arabian Nights gertrude stein s objects and needed another author to well compare the link in my head was or less i read mansfield s thearden party years ago and nothing happened there except characters talking about a hat a hat is an object objects are what i need bami m very happy my mind Enchanting Baby (The Birth Place gave those conceptuals sommersaults my essay is very happy too even though at the moment it is closer to a theoretical frankenstein s monster than an actual essay because mansfield was perfect for the job reading this was almost infuriating whenever i needed a uote for a certain point she would make it in either a letter or a journal entry i never stopped taking notes even when the time period was no longer applicable to my essay s focus it s world war one if anyone s interested it alsoave me the best memories of my time reading The Life And Letters Of John Keats years ago actually around the time i read mansfield for the first time the fact that they both died at a very young age at the prime of their artistic careers and from the same illness did certainly help to make the link A precious Wild Nights with Her Wicked Boss glimpse into the thoughts of a woman euipped with an immenseift for creative reflection This book poetically reminded me how fleeting and short life is and the importance of love and art You will find bits of yourself in this book as a woman and as an artistwriter She also philosophically and at times humorously shared her reflections on the Midsummer Night (Lady Julia Grey, great books she was reading I was able to add some newems to my reading list and begin to reflect on my own artistic endeavours in a new light This is probably the first time that I have read an author s diaryautobiography before reading any of their literary works It was uite an interesting experience as although I d heard of Katherine Mansfiel. 'Now NOW I WANT TO WRITE RECOLLECTIONS I want to write recollections my own country Yes I want to write about my own country till I simply exhaust my store Not only because it is a sacred debt that I pay to my country because my brother and I were born there but also because in my thoughts I range with him over all the remembered places I am never far away from them I long to renew them in writing' In numerous letters and journals Katherine Mansfield recorded her feelings thoughts and observations about writing about the New Zealand of her childhood the Europe of her later years.
Katherine Mansfield Ò 0 SummaryRing a mask of some kind and reading her words is a bit like playing hide and seek with her She s a chameleon has a different mask for each of her correspondents Some of these individuals like Virginia Woolf inspire her others seem to bring out a sentimental fakery in her You can t help wishing she and Woolf had exchanged a whole volume of letters There are beautiful inspired passages and there are rather boring passages too I first read this when I was very young and ravenous to know about her As much as anything it I first read this when I was very young and ravenous to know about her As much as anything it me how much I ve changed in the intervening years my former wild hearted adulation has hardened into sober respect The last fifty pages or so when she knows she is oing to die are heartbreaking I remain convinced she would have rivalled Virginia Woolf had she lived another ten years Mansfield s husband apparently transcribed dated and published almost all he could find of her letters and journals after her premature death from TB in 1923 somewhat against her reuest This selection from the large corpus has been made by C K Stead so it reflects his preferences He notes that he has included less of
emotional writing because he didn t feel it was her best It s hard not wonder what you re missing out on when reading this bookAnyway what you do have in it is a series of reflections on living and writing crafted by a brilliant woman struggling with her work her relationships and her health Her sensibilities are timeless and the crisp clarity of the language makes even the most uotidien letter feel fresh All of this book is wonderful to read even though Mansfield suffers and strugglesMansfield wrote a lot about writing and returns often to the same themes her need to become the subject she writes about her reuirement that writing be edited to the point where not one word can be cut and her struggle to do the labour of writing down her stories once they have formed in her mind I think many writers will empathiseAs well as her own work she reflected on that of authors such as Dostoevsky Tolstoy Joyce and especially of Chekhov One of her most interesting notes on him says he made a mistake in thinking that if he had had time he would have written thinking that if he had had time he would have written described the rain and the doctor and the midwife and the doctor having tea The truth is one can only et so much in a story there is always a sacrifice It s always a kind of race to et in as much as one can before it disappearsShe also wrote about authors she knew personally such as Virginia Woolf and DH Lawrence who she had a very turbulent friendship with She is often fiercely critical of his behaviour and his work but towards the end of her life she wrote positively saying even what one objects to is a sign of life in him This was my first contact with KM and I fell in love with her She had such a tragic life yet managed to pack so much into it Visiting her home in Wellington NZ and understanding where she came from was a fantastic thing to have done as it put her life into a very different perspective She is buried near Fontainebleau south of Paris Her writing is so accessible and her descriptions so vivid Her short life was interesting as she was very much an individual personality but her life was shortened through her own foolishness and stubbornness. N 1986 to write full timeHe has won a number of awards including the New Zealand Book Award for both poetry and fiction and the MansfieldMenton Fellowship He was awarded a CBE in 1985 for services to NZ Literature elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1995 and Honorary Visiting Fellow at St John's College Oxford in 1996 He spends about nine months of the year at home in New Zealand writing and travels to the UK and Europe and sometimes to the US during the northern hemisphere summer His recent novel Mansfield is his tenth work of ficti. D I had no idea of her writing style or subject matter Despite this I really enjoyed this book It was a compilation of diary entries letters Mansfield had writtenher emotional writing because he didn t feel it was her best It s hard not
various recipients and also her I m still not sure how like I didn t really know too much about Katherine Mansfield until earlier this year when I noticed that her name kept cropping up in books I was reading Then a book roup that I participate in picked the book Mansfield by CK Stead which is a fictionalised account of Katherine s life to read one month I wasn t entirely sure about that book please see my post HERE but it is only since reading the Letters and Journals that a few pieces have slotted into place Katherine Mansfield was originally from New Zealand but spent a lot of her time in England and France where she felt that she completed all of her best writing She became famous mainly for her short stories but also for her friendships with other literary persons such as DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf the latter being responsible for publishing some of her work She contracted tuberculosis which plagued her and left her bedTO VARIOUS RECIPIENTS AND ALSO HER
at times led to her death at the untimely age of 34Unfortunately I cannot really comment on Mansfield s short fiction haven t not read any of it at the moment but I plan to change this very soon From her letters to her second husband Murry and her journal entries she comes across as a bright vivacious and entertaining person with a beautifully descriptive way with language even in her own private words I particularly love the poem she wrote about her beloved brother Leslie Chummie Beauchamp after he was killed in the war fighting in France The ending lines are particularly poignantBy the remembered stream my brother standsWaiting for me with berries in his hands These are my body Sister take and eat I think Katherine was an incredibly complex yet interesting person on the whole She was clearly passionate about the people she loved but appeared to be slightly flighty and could switch loyalties as she chose She separated from Murry few times although he certainly was the love of life and had some brief affairs which she seemed to plunge into feet first I loved reading about her friendship with DH Lawrence who used Katherine as his inspiration for Gudrun in his novel Women In Love his fiery personality and tempestuous partnership with his wife was fascinating to read about Although I did enjoy the writings of Katherine Mansfield I probably wouldn t read this book again in parts it was fairly disjointed and difficult to take in although I appreciate that sometimes it s incredibly difficult to place letters in exact seuence of events I will definitely try and slot in some of her work as she seems to have captured my interestPlease see my full review at Maybe I should have better started with one of her novels In this I found her often annoying NonFictionChallenge translated I once tried to keep a journal What I found was that often than not I was embellishing and embroidering I wasn t being particularly honest It was like I was correcting my experiences rather than recounting them Often I had the sense KM was doing much the same in both her journal and letters There aren t that many entries when you feel she s not wea. The people she encountered the every day and the extraordinary This classic selection the only one available that combines material from both her letters and journals brings together the pieces that most illuminate her character her life and her stories Chosen by renowned scholar and acclaimed writer CK Stead they are a lively and informative entree to one of our most Lucy Carmichael gifted writersABOUT THE EDITOR Well known New Zealand novelist poet critic Karl Stead was for 20 years Professor of English at the University of Auckland until he took early retirementridden at times