Katherine Mansfield

(14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923 / Wellington)

Katherine Mansfield
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Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp Murry was a prominent modernist writer of short fiction who was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield. Mansfield left for Great Britain in 1908 where she encountered Modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf with whom she became close friends. Her stories often focus on moments of disruption and frequently open rather abruptly. Among her most well-known stories are "The Garden Party", "The Daughters of the Late Colonel" and "The Fly." During the First World War Mansfield contracted extrapulmonary tuberculosis, which rendered any return or visit to New Zealand ... more »

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  • ''Were we positive, eager, real—alive? No, we were not. We were a nothingness shot with gleams of what might be.''
    Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), New Zealand-born British author. Letter, October 11, 1922, to her husband, John Middleton Murry.
  • ''I'm a writer first and a woman after.''
    Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), New Zealand-born British author. letter, Dec. 3, 1920, to her husband John Middleton Murry.
  • ''Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.''
    Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), New Zealand-born British author. journal entry, Oct. 14, 1922.
  • ''Would you not like to try all sorts of lives—one is so very small—but that is the satisfaction of writing—one can impersonate so many people.''
    Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), New Zealand-born-British author. Letter, April 24, 1907. Collected Letters, vol. 1, eds. Vincent O'Sullivan and Marga...
  • ''It's a terrible thing to be alone—yes it is—it is—but don't lower your mask until you have another mask prepared beneath—as terrible as you like—but a mask.''
    Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), New Zealand-born British author. Letter, July 1917, to her future husband, John Middleton Murry. Collected Letters, v...
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Best Poem of Katherine Mansfield

A Little Boy's Dream

To and fro, to and fro
In my little boat I go
Sailing far across the sea
All alone, just little me.
And the sea is big and strong
And the journey very long.
To and fro, to and fro
In my little boat I go.

Sea and sky, sea and sky,
Quietly on the deck I lie,
Having just a little rest.
I have really done my best
In an awful pirate fight,
But we cdaptured them all right.
Sea and sky, sea and sky,
Quietly on the deck I lie--

Far away, far away
From my home and from my play,
On a journey without end
Only with the sea for friend
And ...

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