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Mansfield as (post)colonial-modernist: rewriting the contract with death

Wilson, J. M. (2013) Mansfield as (post)colonial-modernist: rewriting the contract with death. In: Wilson, J. M., Kimber, G. and Da Sousa Correa, D. (eds.) Katherine Mansfield and the (Post)colonial :. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 29-44.

Item Type: Book Section
Abstract: Mansfield’s rewriting of ‘the contract with death’ explores the implications for her late work of her vow to commemorate in prose the life of her brother, Leslie Heron Beauchamp, and so restore him metaphorically to life. Drawing on recent studies of late Victorian and early twentieth-century cultural practices of the occult, telepathy and mediumship through seances, especially after World War One, the article suggests that Mansfield turned to alternative cultural and communicative transmission channels: self-induced vision, hallucinations, telepathic communication, automatism and occult concepts such as ghosts and visions enabled her to access her earliest memories, return to the family and develop her vision of possibility even as her illness was diminishing her grasp on life. In the interweaving of death with life in her later New Zealand stories, she re-accents the (post)colonial modernism of her earlier stories, through focusing anew on place and space as haunted, susceptible to irruption from strange uncanny forces, while exposing the precarious boundary between civilised and demonic, occulted domains and locating sensations of conflict and ‘difference within’
Creators: Wilson, Janet M
Editors: Wilson, Janet Mary, Kimber, Gerri and Da Sousa Correa, Delia
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Research Centres > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > English and Creative Writing
Date: 1 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 29-44
Title of Book: Katherine Mansfield and the (Post)colonial :
Series Name: Katherine Mansfield studies
Volume: 5
Place of Publication: Edinburgh
Language: English
ISBN: 9780748669097
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes

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