Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Lyric compression in the stories of Katherine Mansfield

Brian Hughes

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.1988.1.08

Abstract

This paper begins by stressing the need for a more critical approach to the work of Katherine Mansfield, accounts of which tend often to rely on purely biographical material. After discussing the relative failure of In a German Pension, which is attributed to a want of focus in the narrative point of view, the essay goes on to suggest that, in the later work, the twin techniques of highlighting and epiphany (the privileging of certain lyrical moments of symbolic vision) enable Katherine Mansfield to construct more satisfactory narratives in which judgements are implied rather than stated. Without denying the importance of Mansfield's personal experiences as source material, or the relatively well-documented influence of Chekhov, the paper stresses the importance in her development of early-century literary theory and practice, especially the current of Modernism as it affected the lyric in particular. It is suggested that this helps to account for the poetic nature of Katherine Mansfield's most characteristic work.

Keywords

Mansfield, Katherine; Relato corto; Epifanía; Simbolismo; Modernismo



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.1988.1.08

Copyright (c) 1988 Brian Hughes

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