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Katherine Mansfield and Periodical Culture$
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Chris Mourant

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439459

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439459.001.0001

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The Athenaeum: ‘Wanted, a New Word’ (World)

The Athenaeum: ‘Wanted, a New Word’ (World)

(p.181) Chapter 3 The Athenaeum: ‘Wanted, a New Word’ (World)
Katherine Mansfield and Periodical Culture

Chris Mourant

Edinburgh University Press

Between April 1919 and December 1920, Mansfield found her voice as a literary critic, publishing over a hundred reviews under the initials ‘K.M.’ in the literary journal The Athenaeum, edited by John Middleton Murry. In her reviews, Mansfield linked the ‘new word’ of modernist formal experimentation with the spatial imaginary of an ‘undiscovered country’ or ‘new world’, a critical vocabulary formulated in response to the disintegration and ‘spiritual crisis’ of the First World War. The chapter positions Mansfield’s work in relation to writings by D. H. Lawrence and Murry, before tracing a dialogue between her reviews and Virginia Woolf’s critical writings in the years 1919–20. The chapter highlights the ways in which both Mansfield and Woolf privileged deep ‘emotion’ as the basis for a modernist ‘new word’.

Keywords:   The Athenaeum, John Middleton Murry, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, First World War, reviews, modernism, new word, new world, emotion

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