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Selected Stories (World's classic series-no.539) [Unknown Binding]

Katherine Mansfield
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford U.P (1953)
  • Language: English
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommended 4 Feb 2007
Katherine Mansfield's quietly devastating prose and absolute commitment to craft remain two of the most potent twentieth century contributions to the difficult genre of the short story. This well-chosen selection demonstrates why.

Rich in colour, atmosphere and poetry, these tales most frequently turn on questions of loss and self-realization. Mansfield often takes as her subjects the resonant emptiness of lives framed by the tightest of parameters - a lonely woman's complete attachment and identification with her canary, a man's dependence on the memory of his dead son - and times where cherished certainties fall away in moments of revelation.

Perhaps the most famous of the latter type is 'Bliss' where the abrupt emptying of juvenile hostess Bertha Mason's boundless, yet ultimately restricting, exhiliration comes as an ambiguous opportunity for both delayed misery and growth. Elsewhere, tiny phrases in conversation unravel inescapable disparities in relationships; the complex emotional tensions of Mansfield's characters lie, as in Chekhov, primarily beneath the glittering surface of her clipped and confident style.

Intricately crafted, the nuanced dimensions of these stories haunt the reader, echoing in your mind long after you've put the book down. I find them compulsively re-readable.

This selection contains all of Mansfield's most famous tales including 'Bliss', 'The Canary', 'The Fly', 'The Daughters of the Late Colonel', 'A Dill Pickle', 'A Cup of Tea' and a recently available, unedited version of 'Je Ne Parle Pas Francais' which restores the full depth of its narrator's deliciously depraved senses of self and sensuality. A must-read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, subtle and humanistic 29 Oct 2007
By Lila
K Mansfield is an author that I really love and admire. I studied her writings at university, and rediscovered her "Selected Stories" recently with great pleasure and awe. Her style is fantastic ; her short stories focus on the characters' inner states and her depiction of human psychology is so accurate, rich and subtle. My favourites stories are Bliss, Prelude, At the Bay, the Garden Party, Mr and Mrs Dove,... The poignant "Life of Ma Parker" as well as the human cruelty depicted in "Ms Brill" will make your heart bleed. An author highly recommended.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
With her abundant usage of simile and metaphor, her sensibility and her presentation of the senses, colour, shape and aesthetic and moral perception, the indescribable style of Katherine Mansfield is present within this collection of short stories. Taken from Bliss (1920), The Garden Party (1922), The Dove's Nest (1923) and Something Childish (1924), these stories are set in many places and at many times, being linked together by Mansfield's delight in beauty and the essence of life, and her slight disgust at the crude and the ugly. Mansfield's ability to create such acute pictures within the reader's mind, to veritably sweep the reader into the narrative with her descriptive language, can only be achieved through her masterful skill of crafting language. This collection is wonderful - if you have ever felt slightly disconnected from the world around you, that you have thoughts which others do not, then this collection is for you - relish the similies, melt into the metaphors and let Mansfield take you on her magic carpet ride.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless 13 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
These wonderfully written, beautifully concise stories capture people at crucial moments in their lives perfectly. I don't even like short stories normally, but these are unputdownable. Highly recommended for anyone who appreciates superb literature exploring human foibles and frailties and the beauty and strangeness of everyday life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars KM is a great writer! 19 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I haven't given this book full stars through no fault of Katherine Mansfield. I discovered I had about one-third of the stories in another of her books which I should have checked first.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmering with humour and insight 2 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So good to have copies of these splendid stories in the house. The short story form seems to release authors from the solemn requirement.to write complete and sealed work.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Selected Sories for English student 16 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Item for my grandaughters course work at uni. She is happy with the product. I myself have not read them but they are what she requested.
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