Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Katherine Mansfield's Birthday


 Today is Katherine Mansfield's birthday - 14th October, 1888.  She was one of the most stunning writers of the twentieth century - of short stories, letters and journals.  Some of the latter are her best writing.  This is an extract from one of her journals, written in October 1922, when she was facing death from tuberculosis.

'I want the power to live a full, adult, living breathing life in close contact with what I love - the earth and the wonders thereof, the sea, the sun.  All that we mean when we speak of the external world. . . I want, by understanding myself, to understand others.  I want to be all that I am capable of becoming so that I may be - (and here I have stopped and waited and waited and it's no good - there's only one phrase that will do) a child of the sun. . . I want a garden, a small house, grass, animals, books, pictures, music.  And out of this - the expression of this - I want to be writing. (Though I may write about cabmen.  That's no matter.) 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 aim for."

Katherine Mansfield died less than three months later at Fontainebleau near Paris.




Katherine Mansfield: The Storyteller by Kathleen Jones
published by Penguin NZ and by Edinburgh University Press
E-book by The Book Mill
Available through all good book retailers and Amazon

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