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Katherine Mansfield and the (Post)colonial$
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Janet Wilson, Gerri Kimber, and Delia da Sousa Correa

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748669097

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748669097.001.0001

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Literatures of Expatriation and the Colonial Mansfield

Literatures of Expatriation and the Colonial Mansfield

(p.116) Literatures of Expatriation and the Colonial Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield and the (Post)colonial

Anne Brown-Berens

Edinburgh University Press

Katherine Mansfield and her recent ancestors, the Victorian colonial authors of early New Zealand fiction, each represent in their literary evocations a society that was expatriate. In the language of the expatriate is often the notion of the ‘displaced’. As a modernist, Mansfield ‘displaces’ herself from colonial literature. Does she also, it might asked, identify innovatively with the pre-existing yet also new literary forms of the colonists as in the nineteenth-century diasporic novel? This paper posits that an examination of nineteenth-century colonial discourse and its possible reinvention in Mansfield’s later stories of 1920–24 may see Mansfield’s modernist representations of settler displacement, of landscape and material artefact within a framework of cultural symbolism already present in the nineteenth-century colonial novel. Mansfield’s writing is then able to be viewed as a form of expatriate literature and counterpart to empire fiction in which modernity and critical disjuncture are represented.

Keywords:   colonial, expatriate, symbolism, displacement, modernism

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