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Katherine Mansfield and Psychology$
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Clare Hanson, Gerri Kimber, and W. Todd Martin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474417532

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474417532.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Mansfield’s Psychology of the Emotions

Mansfield’s Psychology of the Emotions

(p.56) Mansfield’s Psychology of the Emotions
Katherine Mansfield and Psychology

Meghan Marie Hammond

Edinburgh University Press

In one of Katherine Mansfield’s early stories, ‘In Summer’ (1908), a young fairy child named Phyllis sits upon a hillside and sobs, ‘Oh, I have never been so unhappy before. […] I have a curious pain somewhere.’1 It is an arresting and confusing moment. Phyllis, a child on the brink of adulthood, cannot name the unfamiliar and vaguely located pain. The nature of the pain is never clarified. It might be physical pain (for women’s specific pains are often spoken of in oblique terms) or emotional pain, which plays out in the body but cannot be said to happen in any particular place. To read Mansfield is to reckon with such ambiguously embodied feelings – life for her characters is the experience of obtrusive and often unarticulated emotions. In her most memorable characters we observe emotion in the body: Ma Parker tries desperately to hold back her ‘proper cry’ (2: 297), Bertha Young has uncontrollable urges ‘to run instead of walk’ in her moments of bliss (2: 142), and the anxious Kezia tiptoes out of ‘Prelude’ feeling ‘hot all over’ (2: 92)....

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