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Katherine Mansfield and Russia$
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Galya Diment, Gerri Kimber, and W. Todd Martin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474426138

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474426138.001.0001

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Post Diagnosis: Bashkirtseff, Chekhov and Gorky through Mansfield’s Prism of Tuberculosis

Post Diagnosis: Bashkirtseff, Chekhov and Gorky through Mansfield’s Prism of Tuberculosis

Chapter:
(p.24) Post Diagnosis: Bashkirtseff, Chekhov and Gorky through Mansfield’s Prism of Tuberculosis
Source:
Katherine Mansfield and Russia
Author(s):

Galya Diment

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474426138.003.0003

The article examines Mansfield’s attitude towards three tubercular Russian writers — Marie Bashkirtseff, Anton Chekhov and Maxim Gorky — before and after she herself was diagnosed with the disease. The case with Chekhov was most dramatic since her bond with him, most powerful and intimate even prior to her diagnosis, became even closer but also more frustrating as she was reading through his letters and notebooks in search of any wise advice he could give her, both as a writer and a professional physician, while oftentimes becoming acutely angry with him for Chekhov’s seeming resignation and lack of hope. It also discusses the difference in the English and Russian words, then in use, for the disease — “consumption” versus “chakhotka” — and how that may have affected the different cultural perceptions of tuberculosis in England and Russia.

Keywords:   Mansfield, Chekhov, Bashkirtseff, Gorky, Consumption, Chakhotka

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