Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Friday, October 22, 2010

"The Singing Lesson" by Katherine Mansfield

"The Singing Lesson" by Katherine Mansfield (1922, 10 pages)

"The Singing Lesson" by Katherine Mansfield (1888 to 1923) appears in the 1922 collection of her work, The Garden Party and Other Stories.    No location is given for this story but we can assume it is meant to be Wellington.      I really like this story.   It is  a lot of fun.   I hope I have been able to convey in part that  one of the main reasons I am reading Katherine Mansfield's stories is just that doing so is a lot of fun.    

The lead character in "The Singing Lesson" is Miss Meadows.   She is the singing teacher in an elementary school for girls.    The natural beauty of her native New Zealand was never far back in  Mansfield's consciousness and the use of the name "Meadows" is no accident in this story full of images of simple natural beauty.    The "theme" of the story (or one of them) is how one's mood affects what one perceives.    Miss Meadows's  mood goes up and down in the story based on how her boyfriend seems to feel about her.  The narrative intelligence behind the story is both sympathetic with Miss Meadows and mocking of her at the same time.     There is one line in the story that I really liked:    "Everything about her was sweet, pale, like honey. You would not have been surprised to see a bee caught in the tangles of that yellow hair".

This story can be read online at the New Zealand Electronic Text Center.

Mel u


Suko said...

Lovely review, Mel.

I received Katherine's Wish today. Thank you!

Mel u said...

Suko-- Katherine Wish is a lovely book-I hope you enjoy it

bookaddict4real said...

Good Morning Mel U
Miss Meadow sounds like some women I know!

Anonymous said...

I'm not really a short story reader, but this story sounds really nice. I'll put it on my TBR!

I was wondering why you were reading Katherine Mansfield. So, because you find it fun. Perfect reason!

Julie said...

Thanks for this review. And thanks for the link to the story. I haven't read Mansfield, but this review makes me want to!

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

Mystica said...

Thank you for the link. I cannot believe this or a collection of this is not available in a Melbourne library.

Mel u said...

Mystica-The Library of the Univ. of Adelaide has a good online collection of Mansfield also

Unknown said...

The sarcastic line about science teacher was awesome