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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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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: 25 September 2021

‘The only truth I really care about.’ Katherine Mansfield at the Gurdjieff Institute: A Biographical Reflection

‘The only truth I really care about.’ Katherine Mansfield at the Gurdjieff Institute: A Biographical Reflection

for Jack Lamplough

Chapter:
(p.125) ‘The only truth I really care about.’ Katherine Mansfield at the Gurdjieff Institute: A Biographical Reflection
Source:
Katherine Mansfield and Russia
Author(s):

Pierce Butler

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474426138.003.0008

The New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield spent the last three months of her life at the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, an esoteric school occupying a magnificent chateau in the woods of Fontainebleau and directed by G. I. Gurdjieff, a mystic of Greek and Armenian heritage who had brought an eclectic teaching compounded of Sufism and Christian esotericism to the West. She was dying of tuberculosis, and she had despaired of a cure. Nevertheless she wished to make use of the time that remained to her in order to acknowledge her personal shortcomings and to settle her accounts with family and friends. She perceived in Gurdjieff’s teaching the possibility of attaining an inner freedom that had eluded her throughout her life. Despite the reservations of her husband and literary friends, Mansfield was able to use the opportunities for insight and transformation created by Gurdjieff to formulate a new ideal for her writing – and to transform her suffering into hope, faith, and love.

Keywords:   Gurdieff, Sufism, Esotericism, Mysticism, Fontainebleu

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