Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests





Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Green Goggles-A Pastiche" by Katherine Mansfield

"Green Goggles-A Pastiche" by Katherine Mansfield (1912, 2 pages)

An Early Uncollected Mansfield Story


It has been nearly a year ago since I read my first Katherine Mansfield short story, "Miss Brill".   My post on "Miss Brill" has turned out to be the most viewed item on my blog.    "Miss Brill" is must reading in English classes in Moscow, Mumbai, Manila, Mexico City and Milwaukee.     After reading a few more of Mansfield's (1888 to 1923-New Zealand) short stories I decided to post on all of them.     It took me about six months to read and post on all the stories.      I read most of the stories at the New Zealand Electronic Text Center. There are four collections of Mansfield's work that were published under her either her direction or that of her husband John Middleton Murry. It is the stories in these collections that are online. Mansfield wrote a few short stories that were not included in these collections (all are very early stories that she or her husband did not consider worthy of being published in a collection). I think there are about ten of these stories. For the sake of completeness and to see the development of Mansfield I wanted to read and post on all her stories but I could not find links to many of these early stories (they might be in print collections but I prefer to read short stories online).

Yesterday I was thrilled to find two of her uncollected early stories on the web page of Kathleen Jones, author of by far the best biography of Mansfield, Katherine Mansfield: The Story Teller. I will do a short post on both of these stories, one today and one later in the week. I am actively looking for the remaining stories and hope to post on all of her wonderful short stories eventually.

"Green Goggles-A Pastiche" is a very brief short story. It was written during Mansfield's "Russian Phase" during which she was reading a lot of the work of the big Russian writers. (Her work was heavily influenced by Anton Chekhov). "Green Goggles-A Pastiche" is about a young woman who has killed five government officials and kidnapped three children. I admit I am not sure if this is an homage or a play on the Russians. There is a long conversation about good and evil, life and death in the story that sounds very much like a satire of Dostoevsky. When one of the characters beings to speak in French for no real reason it has to remind us of War and Peace. This is a funny, clever well done story.

You can read it online HERE

I will be posting on Mansfield's "Sunday's Table" very soon. It felt good to be reading another Katherine Mansfield story. Katherine Mansfield will always be in my often changing header collage. I am currently reading Frank O'Connor's The Lonely Voice: A Study in the Short Story in which he devotes a chapter (or a lecture) to Mansfield. I will probably do a post on his remarks to help me digest his thoughts on her work.

I am always happy to receive reading suggestions of any sort.

Mel u


1 comment:

Mrs. B. said...

Thanks for posting this! I have 3 second hand books that I found by Katherine Mansfield and I wasn't sure where to start. Now I know. I happen to have all these stories.