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

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Weak Heart" by Katherine Mansfield-Katherine Mansfield Reading Project-notes

"Weak Heart" by Katherine Mansfield (1921, 7 pages)

Project Notes

"Weak Heart" by Katherine Mansfield (1888 to 1923-New Zealand) was first published in 1921 and was included by Mansfield's husband,  John Middleton Murry, in The Dove's Nest and Other Stories (1923).

On May 19 this year I read my first ever story by Katherine Mansfield, "Miss Brill".     According to my blogger stats my post on "Miss Brill" is now the most read post on my blog.   After reading three or four more stories and doing some secondary reading on her I decided to read and post on all of her short stories.    Her total output of short stories is  around 800 pages.     Murry also choose to publish about ten of her not yet completed stories in the collections of her work he published after her death.      It seems Mansfield had in mind writing a novel and a play but she never really got going on them before final illness took her at 35.    It looks to me like Mansfield completed 89 stories.    It looks like about 7 or 8 of the completed stories (mostly very early ones) are not yet online.   Her collected letters have been published as well as a note book of her thoughts and reflections.   I am very near the end of the project of posting on all of her stories (that I can read online).     Besides "Weak Heart" there is one more story in The Dove's Nest and Other Stories.    I will do only very brief notes on these two stories.

"Weak Heart" is a very intense story set in New Zealand.       I really do not think this story admits of an easy retelling or paraphrase.   I will only say it is very well worth reading and to me among her best work.

It can be read online here

Once I complete my post on the next story "Widowed" I will do two more posts, I think.  One on recommended stories of Mansfield for those who want to read one, three, or five of her works.   I will also do one about online resources for reading and learning about Mansfield.    My feeling is I will never be "done with" Mansfield.      

I also hope to review soon the  brand new biography of Mansfield, Katherine Mansfield:   The Story Teller
by Kathleen Jones. 

Mel u


Suko said...

Thanks for this link, as well as all the others to her stories. I hope to read Weak Heart soon.

Perhaps students are reading more short fiction these days. One of my most popular posts is The New Dress, a short story by Virginia Woolf.

The last line in your Miss Brill post is: "I will be reading more Mansfield". You certainly have! :)

Unknown said...

i love katherine mansfield, although i don't really know much about her personal life. my favorite story of hers is 'a cup of tea'...glad i found this post!

Mel u said...

Stephanie-glad you found it also-I have about 65 posts devoted to Mansfield

Mel u said...

Stephanie-glad you found it also-I have about 65 posts devoted to Mansfield