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Tea, Zen and "Cosmic Anatomy": the mysticism of Katherine Mansfield

Kimber, G. (2016) Tea, Zen and "Cosmic Anatomy": the mysticism of Katherine Mansfield. The Turnbull Library Record. 48, pp. 20-35. 0110-1625.

Item Type: Article
Abstract: This essay explores Katherine Mansfield’s spiritual development during her life, culminating in her decision to enter Gurdjieff’s ‘Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man’ in Fontainebleau in the autumn of 1922, claiming that ‘I want to be all that I am capable of becoming so that I may be – […] a child of the sun’. Less than two years after KM’s arrival in London in 1908 to pursue her dream of becoming a writer, the enormous Japanese exhibition was held at in London from May to October 1910. It was a concerted and systematic attempt by Japan to explain its traditional society and arts, modern industry and empire to Great Britain, and over 8 million visitors attended. Mansfield took to wearing a kimono at home, read the poems of Yone Noguchi, and talked about visiting Japan. There were Japanese allusions in both her fiction and her personal writing for the rest of her life. In addition, in 1922, Mansfield’s life was transformed by a book entitled Cosmic Anatomy and the Structure of the Ego, whose Eastern mystic philosophy she wholeheartedly embraced, and which drove her to seek a spiritual cure for her diseased body, since physical cures had proved worthless.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR8309 English literature: Provincial, local, etc. > PR9639.3 New Zealand literature
Creators: Kimber, Gerri
Publisher: Turnbull Library
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: University Faculties, Divisions and Research Centres - OLD > Faculty of Education & Humanities > English and Creative Writing
Faculties > Faculty of Education & Humanities > English and Creative Writing
Date: 21 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Page Range: pp. 20-35
Journal or Publication Title: The Turnbull Library Record
Volume: 48
Language: English
ISSN: 0110-1625
Status: Published / Disseminated
Refereed: Yes
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