The peer-reviewed yearbook of the Katherine Mansfield Society. Published by Edinburgh University Press. Editors: Dr Gerri Kimber and Professor W. Todd Martin. Reviews editor: Dr Aimee Gasston
The yearbook is available for purchase through the KMS Shop
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR VOLUME 15 OF
Katherine Mansfield Studies
THE PEER-REVIEWED YEARBOOK OF THE KATHERINE MANSFIELD SOCIETY
PUBLISHED BY EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
on the theme of
Katherine Mansfield, Illness and Death
Gerri Kimber, University of Northampton, UK
Todd Martin, Huntington University, USA
Aimée Gasston, Institute of English Studies, UK
On 20 October 1915, just a few days after the untimely death of her beloved brother in WW1, Katherine Mansfield wrote in a notebook: ‘I want to write down the fact that not only am I not afraid of death – I welcome the idea of death. I believe in immortality because he is not here, and I long to join him’. Crushed by her bereavement, Leslie Beauchamp’s death would play an important part in the development of her literary life, as she turned towards memories of her childhood as inspiration for her fiction.
By the end of 1919, now diagnosed with the tuberculosis that would kill her, Mansfield was able to admit, ‘All these 2 years I’ve been obsessed by the fear of death’. That fear would gradually transmute into resignation, and then acceptance, culminating in her final weeks with George Gurdjieff and his followers at the esoteric Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, where she died on 9 January 1923, aged just 34.
Unsurprisingly, then, death is a constantly recurring theme in Mansfield’s stories. As Françoise Defroment asserts, ‘[w]ritten as they are in an elusive style that relies on impressionistic touches, Katherine Mansfield’s short stories radiate an atmosphere of light and lightness. Yet underneath this aerial world the inexorable sweep of the sickle of death can be perceived’. We see its mark in ‘The Garden Party’, ‘The Daughters of the Late Colonel’, ‘Life of Ma Parker’, ‘Six Years After’, ‘At the Bay’, ‘The Fly’ and ‘The Canary’. Though the death described in each of these stories has already taken place, for Joseph Flora they ‘look at death in its living aspect, grief. Wedged between her brother’s death and her own, these stories represent an interesting compromise between being awash with grief in life and coming to terms with it, however briefly, in art’. One should also not forget that Mansfield was driven not so much by sales figures as by a search for health, and a resolve to cheat the early death everyone predicted for her.
This volume will be published in 2023, to coincide with the centenary anniversary of Mansfield’s death. Essays which address any aspect of Mansfield, illness and death will be considered. Subjects might include (but are not limited to):
• Mansfield and tuberculosis
• Mansfield’s final year
• Illness in Mansfield’s stories
• Death in Mansfield’s stories
• Mansfield’s experience of illness
• Grief and mourning in Mansfield’s stories
• Decadence and death
• The short fiction form and death
• Philosophical approaches to mortality
Please email submissions of c. 6000 words, including endnotes, formatted in Word and in MHRA style*, 12 pt. Times New Roman, double line-spaced, with a 100-word abstract + 5 keywords & 50-word biography, to the editorial team at firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE NOTE: ALL SUBMISSIONS WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE ENTERED FOR OUR ANNUAL ESSAY PRIZE COMPETITION UNLESS AUTHORS INDICATE OTHERWISE.
*An MHRA Style Guide is available on the Katherine Mansfield Society website:
We welcome creative submissions of poetry, short stories, and creative essays on the general theme of Katherine Mansfield. Please send submissions for consideration, accompanied by a brief (50 words) biography, to email@example.com.
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 31 AUGUST 2022
Click Here to access the Style Guide which should be referred to for all submissions.
Click Here to access the MHRA Style Guide which our own Style Guide refers to.