Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bliss and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield

For Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf notes that hers was the only writing she (VW) was perhaps jealous of. I had heard the name often, but never read anything. Finally, I got to read this small collection of stories in a beautiful Bloomsbury Classic bound pocket size book.

Born in NZ, she studied in England, and lived in France. And her stories seem to be based there (in France, and Europe). I loved the writing - charming is the word that comes to mind. Flowing, transporting you to the time and place where the characters are.

In terms of subject, she deals with those that seem non-conventional in her time. Or modern, then. The settings seem Victorian, but what happens is not. In that sense, she is more modern or further ahead of her times than VW or other contemporaries.

Emotional. Some of the stories just capture a span of few days or moments. But they present an undercurrent, or the view from very new angles (one which I am not used to reading). The power of surprise, in terms of content (not twists). The stories seem to hold a moment or two in the characters' lives as we hold a bauble, and examine it closely, minutely.

Engaging read.

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