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Title:Reading the feminine in the major stories of Katherine Mansfield
Author(s):Pratt, Susan Leslie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hurt, James R.
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, English
Abstract:Readers have often been fascinated and perplexed by Katherine Mansfield's fiction and often are at odds about how to read her seemingly simple stories. In addition to general problems that readers face in Mansfield's fiction, feminist readers also are confronted with Mansfield's attitude toward women, toward female subjectivity, and toward questions of female expression. Reading from a feminine position focuses new attention on Mansfield's domestic settings, her preference for indeterminate endings and themes, her fascination for problems of expression, and her willingness to leave ideas unarticulated. Feminist readers of Mansfield can make new readings which recognize the importance of gender and acknowledge the complex relationship between gender and reading.
My readings and discussions of Mansfield's fiction attempt to acknowledge the tensions between gender and discourse in the texts and to employ a feminist reading strategy. Beginning with Juliet, Mansfield's childhood fragment, and with Mansfield's own fascination for name changes, I suggest that she began early her interest in writing a feminine world, an interest she continues in "The Tiredness of Rosabel" and "The Woman at the Store." I also offer readings of "Prelude," "Bliss," "Miss Brill," "The Daughters of the Late Colonel," "At the Bay," and "The Garden-Party."
By analyzing gender, discourse, and reading strategies in these short stories by Mansfield, my study offers new readings of familiar stories and suggests that Mansfield's short stories do write a feminine world.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Pratt, Susan Leslie
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9215871
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9215871

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