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A Vendetta

In: English and Literature

Submitted By saifahmed
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Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp Murry (14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923) was a well-known modernist writer of short fiction who was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield. When she was 19 Katherine left New Zealand and settled in the United Kingdom, where she became friends with modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. Her first published stories appeared in the High School Reporter and the Wellington Girls' High School magazine (the family returned to Wellington proper in 1898), in 1898 and 1899. In 1902 she became in love of a cellist, Arnold Trowell, although the feelings were largely unanswered. Mansfield herself was an accomplished cellist, having received lessons from Trowell's father. Mansfield wrote in her journals of feeling disturbed in New Zealand, and of how she had become disillusioned because of the repression of the Māori people. Maori characters are often portrayed in a sympathetic or positive light in her later stories, such as "How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped”. In 1903 she moved to London, where she attended Queen's College along with her sisters. Mansfield recommenced playing the cello, an occupation that she believed she would take up professionally, but she also began contributing to the college newspaper with such dedication that she eventually became its editor. She met fellow writer Ida Baker (also known as Lesley Moore), a South African, at the college, and they became lifelong friends. Certainly, her writing meditates on themes and emotional states that were central to her own life—loneliness, disconnection, travel, depression, attraction and revulsion, power and impotence, love and hate. She died from tuberculosis in France at the age of 34.

The life lends itself to melodrama, prompting readers to approach Mansfield’s writing as the autobiographical outpourings of a tormented mind.

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