The Critical Response to Katherine Mansfield

By Jan Pilditch | Go to book overview
'poisons' (metaphorically) his/her beloved. K. M. had thought it good but Murry persuaded her not to include it in The Garden Party. (He later acknowledged that he had been wrong and that it was a little masterpiece'.) It would be logical for her, having rejected "Poison" from the collection, to try to use the idea again. I concede that Alpers knows much more about Mansfield than I do, and that therefore he may yet be proved right. To date, however, I have more solid evidence on my side--chiefly in the form of Murry's letter to Schiff.
38
Letters 1928, Vol. 2, p.126.
39
Journal 1954, p.259.
40
British Museum MS letter from Murry to Schiff (see note 37 above).
41
British Museum MS letter from Murry to Schiff. See also Letters 1928, Vol. 2, p.129.
42
Letters 1928, Vol. 2, p.134.
43
Letters 1928, Vol. 2, p.143, and Journal 1954, p.266. The letter to Violet Schiff on p. 137 of Vol. 2, Letters 1928, which also refers to The Garden Party as the title of the new book, is dated there as belonging to September which conflicts with the sequence I have outlined. But the MS of this letter in the British Museum is marked 'Received October 26 '21', so the dating of the published text is incorrect.
44
They sought to renew English poetry. . . .Several of them, including Hulme and Flint, were aware of the relevance of modern French poetry to such an enterprise. As far back as 11 July 1908 Flint had written in The New Age of a similarity between Mallarmé and Japanese poetry and of the possibility of a poetry composed of suggestions rather than complete pictures; and he had declared: "To the poet who can catch and render, like these Japanese, the brief fragments of his soul's music, the future lies open." The Life of Ezra Pound, Noel Stock, London ( Penguin edition), 1974, p.81. . . . the art of attending to radioactive moments, "simply", in Pater's phrase, "for those moments' sake", had preoccupied two English generations. A central tradition of nineteenth-century decadence, a hyperaesthesia prizing and feeding on ecstatic instants, fragments of psychic continuum. . . .endorsed the kind of attention fragments exact if we are to make anything of them at all.' The Pound Era, Hugh Kenner, London, 1975 edition, p.60.
45
The Dove's Nest & Other Stories. Introductory note, p.xii.

Jean E. Stone, from Publications in Australia 1907-09

Biographers, bibliographers and antiquarian booksellers are frequently at variance in their claims that Katherine Mansfield's earliest professional writing was first published in certain English periodicals. One result of the confusion has been that collectors have paid high prices for these publications, having been led to believe that included amongst the contributions to one or other of them was the first professional work of this world-acclaimed writer, for which she was paid.

As late as December 1976 in a prominent American antiquarian bookseller's catalogue it is stated that "A Fairy Story" by Katherina [sic] Mansfield in the short-lived English periodical the Open Window ( III, December 1910, pp. 162- 76) was "the author's first publication". This statement is based on the perpetuation of error by previous bibliographers including Ruth Elvish Mantz,

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