Katherine Mansfield and T.S. Eliot

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Katherine Mansfield and T.S. Eliot had a friendly yet fraught relationship in which an initial mutual admiration turned into wariness. Their literary acquaintance began with the Bloomsbury Circle, and Mansfield’s enthusiasm for The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock which she read out at Garsington Manor in June 1917, saying: ‘that’s what I want modern poetry to be’, and ‘it is after all, a short story’. Later she saw his poetry as ‘unspeakably dreary’, while he formed the view that she was ‘a thick skinned toady’, and ‘a dangerous WOMAN’. Eliot’s brief comments on Mansfield’s story ‘Bliss’ give some insight into his views of her work. This paper, however, aims to examine his modernism as a possible influence on on her artistic practice (evident in allusions to ’Preludes’, Prufrock and ‘Rhapsody on a Winter’s Night’), and the possible impact of his criticism and theories of art on her thinking (for example, her belief in the impersonality of the artist). Finally it will consider how the relationship has been taken up as a subject for fiction by New Zealand writer and critic, C.K. Stead, in his novels The Secret History of Modernism (2001) and Mansfield (2004).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2015
EventKatherine Mansfield and the 'Blooms Berries' - Newberry Library, Chicago, USA
Duration: 29 May 2015 → …


ConferenceKatherine Mansfield and the 'Blooms Berries'
Period29/05/15 → …
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