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British Modernism and Chinoiserie$
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Anne Witchard

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748690954

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748690954.001.0001

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Shared Affinities: Katherine Mansfield, Ling Shuhua and Virginia Woolf

Shared Affinities: Katherine Mansfield, Ling Shuhua and Virginia Woolf

Chapter:
(p.37) Chapter 2 Shared Affinities: Katherine Mansfield, Ling Shuhua and Virginia Woolf
Source:
British Modernism and Chinoiserie
Author(s):

Patricia Laurence

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748690954.003.0003

Though the term chinoiserie has historically been applied to the decorative and visual arts, this chapter explores its theoretical and practical extension into literature in a specific conversation among and about three female writers from England and China, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield and Ling Shuhua, presenting a notion of chinoiserie as a valuable aesthetic training of the British visual and reading eye. Woolf, for example, valued the writing of Ling Shuhua-- labeled ‘the Chinese Katherine Mansfield’ in China-- for ‘the charm of the unlikeness’ of her aesthetic perceptions. The Chinese admired the writing of Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf, translating them into Chinese beginning in the 1920s. This aesthetic reciprocity informs the theoretical and methodological issues in this chapter which weaves the style of ‘chinoiserie,’ feminism and modernism into a cross-cultural ‘conversation.’

Keywords:   Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Ling Shuhua, feminism

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