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Katherine Mansfield and Russia

Edited by Galya Diment, Gerri Kimber, W. Todd Martin


Examines the 'Russian influence' on both Mansfield’s craft as a short story writer and her life choices

Katherine Mansfield’s passion for Russian literature and culture is well documented in her letters and notebooks. Anton Chekhov was not just one of her most significant literary influences, but also a mythological presence with whom she mentally communicated every day. The emotional bond became even stronger when she discovered that the two of them shared the same deadly disease. But her fascination with Russia and its culture extended beyond Chekov and included the Ballets Russes and an interest in Russian politics, in part sparked by Maxim Gorky. She also read and assimilated several other Russian writers, including Fyodor Dostoevsky and Marie Bashkirtseff as well as Leo Tolstoy. This volume presents essays that engage with many aspects of Mansfield’s response to all things Russian as well as to the Russians she met in England and France. In addition, the volume presents a collection of images of Gurdjieff’s Institute at Fontainebleau, several of which have never been seen before.

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Introduction, Galya Diment
Part I: Criticism
1. ‘Je ne parle pas français’: Reading Mansfield’s Underground Man, David Rampton

2. Post Diagnosis: Bashkirtseff, Chekhov, and Gorky through Mansfield’s Prism of Tuberculosis, Galya Diment

3. ‘A child of the sun’: Katherine Mansfield, Orientalism and Gurdjieff, Gerri Kimber

4. Near Misses: From Gerhardi to Mansfield (and back), via Anton Chekhov, Claire Davison

5. Mansfield, Movement and The Ballets Russes, Ira Nadel

6. At Home Among the Russians: The Short Stories of Olive Garnett and Katherine Mansfield, Frances Reading

7. ‘The Only Truth I Really Care About’. Katherine Mansfield at the Gurdjieff Institute: A Biographical Reflection, Pierce Butler

Part II: Creative Writing
8. Short Story, Owen Marshall: ‘The English Visitor’

9. Poetry, Fleur Adcock: ‘Tinakori Road’, Jessica Whyte: ‘Remedy’

10.Creative Nonfiction, Roger Lipsey: ‘Chez Monsieur Gurdjieff’

Part III: Critical Miscellany
11. The Tree of Knowledge: New Insights on Mansfield, Oscar Wilde and ‘A Woman’, Giles Whiteley

12. A Note on Some Unidentified Sources in Mansfield’s Reading from 1907, Giles Whiteley

13. Addicted to Mansfield: A Glimpse at the Ruth Elvish Mantz Collection in Texas, Gerri Kimber

Part IV: Review Essay
14. Katherine Mansfield in a Global Context, Rishona Zimring.

About the Author

Galya Diment is Joff Hanauer Distinguished Professor in Western Civilization at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is the author of three books, among them A Russian Jew of Bloomsbury: The Life and Times of Samuel Koteliansky (2011), editor or co-editor of another three, and has published more than forty articles.

Gerri Kimber, Visiting Professor in the Department of English at the University of Northampton, is co-editor of the annual yearbook Katherine Mansfield Studies, and Chair of the Katherine Mansfield Society. She is the deviser and Series Editor of the four-volume Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Katherine Mansfield (2016) and the author of Katherine Mansfield: The View from France, and A Literary Modernist: Katherine Mansfield and the Art of the Short Story.

A Professor of English at Huntington University, Todd Martin’s primary areas of interest are twentieth century British and American literature. He has published articles on such varied authors as John Barth, E. E. Cummings, Clyde Edgerton, Julia Alvarez, Edwidge Danticat, Sherwood Anderson, and Katherine Mansfield. He is a member of the Katherine Mansfield Society and currently serves as the Membership Secretary. He is the editor of the forthcoming Katherine Mansfield and the Bloomsbury Group.

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