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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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Writing from the Cellar: Revisiting the Villa Isola Bella

Writing from the Cellar: Revisiting the Villa Isola Bella

(p.219) Chapter 16 Writing from the Cellar: Revisiting the Villa Isola Bella
Katherine Mansfield and Literary Influence

Brigid Magner

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter interrogates the memorialisation of Katherine Mansfield and the complex effects of the Memorial Room at Menton for Mansfield’s legacy and for the New Zealand Writing Fellows who have inhabited it since its establishment in 1969. It argues that New Zealanders ‘have found it difficult to understand her writing and have felt unsure about how to celebrate her memory’ because of her expatriate status. Mansfield’s legacy, then, is ‘often understood to be a burden by subsequent writers’. Taking up the idea of the ‘absent-present’ in literary tourism, Magner argues that the Memorial Room forces Fellows to confront Mansfield’s legacy; yet while they frequently claim that they are affected by their residency, ‘their work does not generally reveal traces of Mansfield, showing that literary influence usually fails to occur where it might be anticipated’.

Keywords:   Katherine Mansfield, literary influence, short story, literary tourism, New Zealand literature, memorialisation, legacy, Menton, France, Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship

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