The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield: 1922-1923
Clarendon Press, Aug 15, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 376 pages
The fifth and final volume of the Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield covers the almost thirteen months during which her attention at first was firmly set on a last chance medical cure, then finally on something very different--if death came to seem inevitable, how should one behave in the time that remained, so one could truly say one lived?
Mansfield's biographers, like her friends, have wondered at the seemingly extraordinary decision to ditch conventional medicine, for the bizarre choice of Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man at Fontainebleau. These letters show the clarity of mind and will that led to that decision, the courage and distress in making it, and the gaiety even once it was made. She went against what her education, her husband, and most of her friends would regard as reasonable, as she opted to spend her last months with Russian emigres and a strange assortment of Gurdjieff disciples (which she was not). But Fontainebleau give her the space and the incentive to shake free from the intellectualism that she thought the malaise of her time, as she worked at kitchen chores, took in the details of farm life, tried to learn Russian, and attempted to reach total honesty with herself. "If I were allowed one simple cry to God," she wrote in one of her last letters, "that cry would be I want to be REAL."
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1922 Victoria Palace Athenaeum awfully beautiful cant CHALET DES SAPINS Chateau Belle Vue darling Bogey Dear Ida dearest doctor Dorothy Brett Elizabeth England feel flowers Fontainebleau-Avon Forgive Gerhardi glad Goodbye Gurdjieff Hampstead happy Harold Beauchamp hope horrid Hotel Chateau Belle Ida Baker idea J. M. Murry Jack kind KM's letter live LJMM London look Luxembourg Gardens Manoukhin March 1922 Victoria marvellous Michael Sadleir Montana Montana-sur-Sierre never Newberry nice novel Ottoline Ottoline Morrell Paris perhaps Pond Street Prieure Randogne Rue Blaise Desgoffe Rue de Rennes Russian S. S. Koteliansky Schiff seems Sierre sincerely Katherine Mansfield sounds stay story Switzerland talk Tchekhov tell Thank things treatment Valais Victoria Palace Hotel Vincent O'Sullivan Violet warm weather week William Gerhardi wish wonder word write yesterday