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Katherine Mansfield: Old and New

Kimber, G. (2013) Katherine Mansfield: Old and New. Invited Keynote presented to: Katherine Mansfield: Old and New, Japan Women's University, Tokyo, Japan, 09 November 2013. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Invited Keynote)
Abstract: The year 2013 marks the 125th anniversary of Katherine Mansfield’s birth and the 90th anniversary of her death. In this special commemorative year, I am delighted to have been invited to Japan to celebrate the life and work of this iconic modernist writer. For those members of the audience who are less familiar with Mansfield, I will give a brief overview of her life and times, outlining her childhood in New Zealand, her relationships, her ill health and her search for a cure for the tuberculosis that would eventually kill her at the age of 34. I will then go on to discuss her work, and demonstrate how the new four volume Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Katherine Mansfield, of which I am deviser and Series Editor, will alter our perception of Mansfield the writer, and inspire new scholarship. The editorial intention for the first two volumes published in 2012, the Collected Fiction, which I co-edited with Vincent O’Sullivan, was not just to draw on previously published collections as every edition of her fiction had done to date, but to map Mansfield’s development as a writer, which could only be done by including every scrap of fiction she wrote, good or bad, long or short. The previous definitive volume edited by Antony Alpers in the 1980s contained 85 stories in one volume; the Edinburgh edition contains 225 stories and fiction fragments in two volumes As Kirsty Gunn notes in a recent review of the edition in the London Review of Books: By giving us every draft and fragment in the order of their production – including schoolgirl jottings, ideas that never made it into print […] the editors […] are able to show us, on the page, the craftswoman learning what she needs to learn in order to be published and become well known, and then learning from those lessons in order to forget them. […] there are [stories] that slowly, piece by piece, in version after version, arrive at the full expression of her ambition, where Mansfield can be seen for who she is: one of our great modernists, the creator of a narrative form so familiar to us that we barely think of it as one at all. With Angela Smith, I am now working on volumes 3 and 4 of the Edition – the non-fiction, and the diaries, to be published in 2014/15. Once all four volumes are complete, admirers of Katherine Mansfield will at last have a scholarly edition worthy of this exceptional Modernist and iconic New Zealand writer. As Series Editor, my aim has always been to free Mansfield’s writing from decades of editorial obfuscation and reveal her own words, written in her own way, like a piece of dull silver, long neglected, finally polished so that all its miraculous detail is revealed, glittering like new
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR8309 English literature: Provincial, local, etc. > PR9639.3 New Zealand literature
Creators: Kimber, Gerri
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Education & Humanities > English and Creative Writing
University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Research Centre > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > English and Creative Writing
Research Centres > Centre for Critical and Creative Writing
Date: 9 November 2013
Date Type: Presentation
Event Title: Katherine Mansfield: Old and New
Event Dates: 09 November 2013
Event Location: Japan Women's University, Tokyo, Japan
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Unpublished
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