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Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf$
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Gerri Kimber, Todd Martin, and Christine Froula

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439657

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439657.001.0001

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Together and Apart

Together and Apart

Chapter:
(p.29) Together and Apart
Source:
Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf
Author(s):

Maria DiBattista

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439657.003.0003

Mansfield was dead a week when Virginia Woolf confided in her diary that ‘probably we had something in common which I shall never find in anyone else’. Woolf attributed their rapport to Mansfield’s ‘caring so genuinely if so differently from the way I care about our precious art’. Perhaps only in death could Woolf finally agree to the less equivocal version of their relationship that Mansfield had put to her years before: ‘We have got the same job, Virginia, & it is really very curious & thrilling that we should both, quite apart from each other, be after so very nearly the same thing. We are you know; there’s no denying it.’ One can feel no need to deny it and yet still wonder what that ‘something in common’ actually was and why Woolf, given her extensive and varied circle of family and friends, felt so inconsolable upon the loss – not simply the diminishment – of it. This essay is motivated by that wonder. It explores the artistic affinity that brought Mansfield and Woolf together in a unique literary rapport but also insists on the differences – especially in their attitudes towards time as a fulfiller or thwarter of human hopes – that ultimately set them apart in their representations of ‘Life’.

Keywords:   Modern fiction, Life, mirror, illumination, self, apartness

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