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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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Mansfield eats Dickens

Mansfield eats Dickens

(p.155) Chapter 11 Mansfield eats Dickens
Katherine Mansfield and Literary Influence

Michael Hollington

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores Katherine Mansfield's remark that ‘we all, as writers, to a certain extent, absorb each other when we love . . . Anatole France would say we eat each other’ to explore her devotion to Charles Dickens throughout her life and her absorption of ‘essential aspects of his humour’. It reveals that Mansfield’s enchantment with Dickens produced two effects of influence: first, ‘the presence of numerous Dickensian stylistic devices in her writing’, particularly their ‘many shared satiric emphases, especially their critiques of the societies in which they lived’, and second the revival of Dickens’ reputation in the interwar period. Hollington argues that in her capacity as a reviewer and through her connections to modernist magazines Mansfield ‘did as much as she could to reaffirm Dickens as a consummate artist both of tragedy and comedy’.

Keywords:   Katherine Mansfield, Charles Dickens, literary influence, literary criticism, satire, humour, enchantment

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