Katherine Mansfield [epub / PDF] Journal of Katherine Mansfield


I admit this diary or at least this version of it doesn t stand on it s own in the the way that Virginia Woolf s does for instance But but if you love Katherine as I do you ll cherish every stray fragment Through all her suffering she was nevertheless able to find beauty all around her in a moth a leaf a cloudy day With every turn of the page one is eenly aware that her days arewere numberedI wish I could read each entry on the appropriate day and eep a ind of correspondence I can t for the life of me remember why I ordered Katherine Mansfield s journal and one of her books of short stories from the main library That said I m glad I did I ve never read a whole journal before just probably a piece or two here or there for a class Reading a journal feels strange like maybe I m sneaking a peak into someone s brain and I m not sure that they would want me to do so you now Mansfield was a really entertaining woman from what I can tell and she has a very relatable way of thinking especially about her writing there s a real anguish there about whether or not it s good enough or whether or not she s writing enough and it feels so strange to find a comrade who wrote those words in her journal 90 some odd years ago Anyway it was interesting and I m reading her short stories and they re very readable and real and I like them even better This isn t a diary in the style of Virginia Woolf s for example but a selection of fragments journal entries unposted letters ideas for stories put together by Katherine Mansfield s husband John Middleton Murry after her death He s done a remarkable editing job and produced a great book its particular strength for me being in the way it reminds us to make the most of the life and the healthy times that we have since she struggled so hard to work in the face of crippling illness and was so very frustrated when she couldn t Many years ago I found a copy of a totally pirated 1950s edition of this book in a second hand bookshop in Malaga The book had been printed in Cyprus and was marked not to be sold in the UK Cause like we totally didn t have permission Plus a change and all that There were pirate copies of Shakespeare s plays floating around in the 17th century with added scenes that Willy had nothing to do with I read my copy literally to pieces I had never read any of Mansfield s work before that except a short story in my highschool Eng Lit book which we never had to read for class Miss Brill At the age of fourteen or whatever it didn t make much of an impressionHaving re read this edition of the Journal innumerable times and indeed memorised an impressionHaving re read this edition of the Journal innumerable times and indeed memorised through sheer familiarity I was ready to appreciate her work I have since acuired the masterly long version Katherine Mansfield Notebooks Complete Edition as well as many of her stories A member of the lost generation of the WW1 years not one of her male friends who went to the front returned She was also traumatised by the loss among them of her cherished younger brotherIt is sad that her worst fears came true plagued by tuberculosis and the aftermath of venereal disease she did indeed die leaving very little finished work In many ways Mansfield must have been a difficult person perhaps that is why I feel such an affinity with herETA Comparing this edition put together by her husband J M Murray with the edition collated from the original texts decades later I realised just how self serving Murray was He cuts out many passages that reveal negative aspects of his personality and their relationship rewords others claims to be unable to read some that are very clear and not complimentary to himand ends the journal before its actual end with the words All is wellAll was not well and he new it but I guess he chose to close it on an uplifting note I was amused to find that one of the words Katherine Mansfield really jelled with was littleIt has a resonance that I have not encountered with any other writerSeven Little Australians by Ethel Turner probably comes the closest and it is only fitting seeing they were probably living in the same eradefinitely came from the same part of the Globe Mansfield from New Zealand and Turner from Australia and their sentimentality has the backing of an Iron RodThese girls could bite the bullet of Realityboth in their Fiction and in their daily LivesFor Mansfield it was finding her niche mixing with the Bloomsburysfinding a difficult man or a difficult marriageprobably Both and World War One where she lost her brotherVirgina Stephen Woolf and her sister Vanessa StephenBell were to lose their brother Thoby to illness in 190 and Vanessa one of her sons Julian in the late 1930 s in the Spanish Civil Warto be continued If someone had told me a couple years ago that I would be reading the Journal of Katherine Mansfield I would NOT HAVE BELIEVED THEM THROUGH A have believed them Through a of events I started reading this bookKatherine Mansfield lived during the early 1900 s and was a writer What I found fascinating about reading her journal is that I identified with a lot of her struggles I also found her point of view and the little descriptions of life at that time interestingThe only reason In July 1942 Ir ne N mirovsky author of the now bestselling Suite Fran aise wrote in he. Katherine Mansfield’s Journal is one of the great classics of twentieth century literature; it is a uniuely truthful record of a great writer at work of the spirit of a genius in the last ten years of

Katherine Mansfield ↠ 1 SUMMARY

Journal of Katherine MansfieldS for money The thin dog So thin that his body is like a cage on four wooden pegs runs own the street In some sense she feels the thin dog is the street In all this we seem to be in the midst of unfinished stories here is a beginning here an end They only need a loop of words thrown round them to be complete But then the diary is so private and so instinctive that it allows another self to break off from the self that writes and to stand apart watching it write The writing self was a ueer self sometimes nothing would induce it to write there is so much to do and I do so little Life would almost be perfect here if only when I was pretending to work I always was working Look at the stories that wait and wait just at the threshold next day Yet take this morning for instance I don t want to write anything It s grey it s heavy and dull And short stories seem unreal and not worth doing I don t want to write I want to live What does she mean by that It s not easy to say But there you are What does she mean by that No one felt seriously the importance of writing than she did In all the pages of her journal instinctive rapid as they are her attitude toward her work is admirable sane caustic and austere There is no literary gossip no vanity no jealousy Because Murry had edited these things out of the version VW read Hermione Lee is much closer to the truth when she describes her as malicious and chilling as she could be appealing and vulnerable Although during her last years she must have been aware of her success she makes no allusion to it Her own comments upon her work are always penetrating and disparaging Her stories wanted richness and depth she was only skimming the top no But writing the mere expression of things adeuately and sensitively is not enough It is founded upon something unexpressed and this something must be solid and entire Under the desperate pressure of increasing illness she began a curious and difficult search of which we catch glimpses only and those hard to interpret after the crystal clearness which is needed if one is to write truthfully Nothing of any worth can come of a disunited being she wrote One must have health in one s self After five years of struggle she gave up the search after physical health not in despair but because she thought the malady was of the soul and that the cure lay not in any physical treatment but in some such spiritual brotherhood as that at Fontainebleau in which the last months of her life were spent But before she went she wrote the summing up of her position with which the journal ends She wanted health she wrote but what did she mean by health by health she wrote I mean the power to lead a full adult living breathing life in close contact with what I love the earth and the wonders thereof the sea the sunthen I want to work At what I want so to live that I work with my hands and my feeling and my brain I want a garden a small house grass animals books pictures music And of out of this the expression of this I want to be writing The diary ends with the words All is well And since she died three months later it is tempting to think that the words stood for some conclusion which illness and the intensity of her own nature drove her to find at an age when most of us are loitering easily among those appearances and impressions those amusements and sensations WHICH NONE HAD BETTER THAN none had loved than Since I was heading back to NZ I thought it might be fitting to pack Katherine Mansfield s journal to take with me I didn t realise that this journal is made up mostly of material from the last years of her life where she is ill worried about her writing and in large amounts of pain Reading this while preparing for general anaesthetic and again after the anaesthetic has worn off was a weird feeling to say the least That said I love it Mansfield s always been that little bit intimidating but in her That said I love it Mansfield s always been that little bit intimidating but in her she reads like a real person and a surprisingly modern one despite the changes losses and difficulties of the war most of what Mansfield uses her journal to reflect upon are just as interesting today writing and the role of truth the struggle of mind illness and body looking for direction This book was so much than I thought it would be the amount of minute and delicate joy I get out of watching people and things when I am alone is simply enormous I really only have perfect fun with myself Just the same applies to my feeling for what is called nature Other people won t stop and look at the things I want to look at or if they do they stop to please me or to humor me or to eep the peace But I am so made that as sure as I am with anyone I begin to give consideration to their opinions and their desires and they are not worth half the consideration that mine are I don t miss J at all now I don t want to go home I feel uite content to live here in a furnished room and watch It s a pure uestion of weather that s what I believe Life with other people becomes a blur it does with J but it s enormously valuable and marvelous when I m alone the detail of life the life of life I have not read this for some time What stays with me is how KM suffered Perhaps a second reading would change this impression I admire her writing he uniue voic. Sts of fragments of diary entries unposted letters scraps of writing in other words anything that was dated or could have a date attributed to it and that could be woven into a volume called a ‘journal?. ,

R notebook on her last day of freedom before she was deported by the Nazis The pine woods all around me I am sitting on my blue cardigan in the middle of an ocean of leaves wet and rotting from last night s storm as if I were on a raft my legs tucked under me In my bag I have put Volume II of Anna Karenina the Journal of KM and an orangeKM s husband John Middleton Murry published this journal after her death and it went on to become a best seller All the royalties went to him and he was accused of being jackal and became the most hated man in England I ve just read a review here on GR of KM s scrapbook which Murry also published and the reviewer says The results of Katherine Mansfield willingly consigning her literary works notebooks letters etc to a self serving contemptible man are unfortunate It would appear self serving and contemptible are monikers for Murry which are being somewhat thoughtlessly handed down from generation to generation Was he really that bad He certainly wasn t the ideal husband but then KM was hardly the ideal wife I d always rather be with people who loved me too little rather than with people who loved me too much And I can think of much worse husbands TS Eliot and Ted Hughes spring immediately to mind Murry was essentially a blunderer rather than a monster And it was fascinating to learn how this journal was put together In truth this journal never existed It was compiled by Murry from fragments of diary entries unsent letters notes for stories and various scraps in other words anything dated which could be woven into a volume called a journal Which to my mind makes it one of the most brilliant editorial feats in the history of literature Needless to say he received no praise In fact his achievement continued to meet with a ind of sanctimonious prudery Dorothy Parker in her review says It s a beautiful book and an invaluable one but it is her own book and only her sad dark eyes should have read its words The garish sentimentality of that her sad dark eyes is a red flag that we re dealing with a suspect emotion here It s interesting no such moral outcry followed the publication of Virginia Woolf s diaries or letters or anyone else s for that matter It s also worth noting that KM had an agreement at one point with her publisher to write a journal for publication So some of the time one could argue all the time as she always struck me as conscious of posterity and destroyed everything she didn t want read even going to the lengths of buying back her old letters she was aware her words would be read A wonderful added bonus of this edition is that it contains Virginia Woolf s review which is generally regarded as ambivalent and to my mind discloses the odd note of jealousy that marred her relationship with Katherine The most distinguished writers of short stories in England are agreed says Mr Murry that as a writer of short stories Katherine Mansfield was hors concours No one has succeeded her and no critic has been able to define her uality But the reader of her journal is well content to let such uestions be It is not the uality of her writing or the degree of her fame that interests us in her diary but the spectacle of a mind a terribly sensitive mind receiving one after another the haphazard impressions of eight years of life Her diary was a mystical companion Come my unseen my unknown let us talk together she says on beginning a new volume In it she noted facts the weather an engagement she sketched scenes she analysed her character she described a pigeon or a dream or a conversation nothing could be fragmentary nothing private We feel we are watching a mind which is alone with itself a mind which has so little thought of an audience disagree with Virginia on this point that it will make use of a shorthand of its own now and then or as the mind in its loneliness tends to do divide into two and talk to itself But then as he scraps accumulate we find ourselves giving them or probably receiving from Katherine Mansfield herself a direction From what point of view is she looking at life as she sits there terribly sensitive second time she s used this rather disparaging phrase registering one after another such diverse impressions She is a writer a born writer Everything she feels and sees and hears is not fragmentary and separate it belongs together as writing Sometimes the note IS DIRECTLY MADE FOR A STORY LET ME REMEMBER directly made for a story Let me remember I write about that fiddle how it runs up lightly and swings down sorrowful how it searches she notes Or Lumbargo This is a very ueer thing So sudden so painful I must remember it when I write about an old man The start to get up the pause the look of fury and how lying at night one seems to get locked Again the moment itself suddenly puts on significance and she traces the outline as if to preserve it It s but the air is soft smoky warm Big drops Patter On Languid Leaves The Tobacco on the languid leaves the tobacco lean over Now there is a rustle in the ivy Wingly has appeared from the garden next door he bounds from the wall And delicately lifting his paws pointing his ears very afraid the big wave will overtake him he wades over the lake of green grass The sister of Nazareth showing her pale gums and big discoloured teeth ask. Er life and of the development of the modern mind during the early years of the last century Her husband John Middleton Murry compiled the Journal soon after she died and it was published in 1927 It consi. ,
Bundle of Joy A Noble Captive Brandishing a Crown
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