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Katherine Mansfield and Literary Influence$
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Sarah Ailwood and Melinda Harvey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748694419

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694419.001.0001

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‘Where is she?’ Katherine Mansfield and Elizabeth Bowen

‘Where is she?’ Katherine Mansfield and Elizabeth Bowen

(p.35) Chapter 3 ‘Where is she?’ Katherine Mansfield and Elizabeth Bowen
Katherine Mansfield and Literary Influence

Jessica Gildersleeve

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines the absent presence of Katherine Mansfield in Elizabeth Bowen’s personal and fictional writing to demonstrate how loss, desire and mourning might constitute a particularly female mode of literary influence. It explores Bowen’s ambivalent perceptions of Mansfield as a literary influence throughout her career, on the one hand protesting against her influence and defending her own originality, and on the other recognising her innovation and mourning her as a ‘lost contemporary’. Gildersleeve argues that the literary relationship between Bowen and Mansfield eludes both the Bloomian model of destroying the predecessor and the model of matrilineal heritage preferred by feminist literary critics. Instead, influence between Mansfield and Bowen registers as a ‘desire for kinship, and resentment that this bond does not exist’.

Keywords:   Katherine Mansfield, Elizabeth Bowen, literary influence, modernism, mourning, ambivalence, women's writing

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