Bliss and Other Stories Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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This recording presents six of the thirteen stories originally published together in the 1920s... Each is served up by Juliet Stevenson as a rare delicacy, each character brought forth with perfect accent and timbre, each tale with full awareness of every nuance. The result? The listener is blessed with the good fortune of hearing two great storytellers working in concert, and it is absolute bliss --Maine Portland, AudioFile
Juliet Stevenson is the perfect narrator for these six delicately observed stories. In one, Bertha in her white dress and jade beads presides over a dinner party, her happiness to be obliterated by seeing her husband kiss heavy-lidded Pearl; in another, ex-lovers meet again beside a Japanese vase of paper daffodils. Unbeatable. --Rachel Redford, The Observer
About the Author
Katherine Mansfield was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1888 and died in Fontainebleau in 1923. She came to London for the latter part of her education and settled in Europe. Her first writing was published in The New Age, to which she became a regular contributor. Her first book, In a German Pension, was published in 1911. In 1912 she began to write for Rhythm, edited by John Middleton Murry, whom she eventually married.
She was a conscious modernist, an experimenter in life and writing, and mixed with others of her kind, including D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. With 'Prelude' in 1916 she evolved her distinctive voice as a writer of short fiction. By 1917 she had contracted tuberculosis, and from that time led a wandering life in search of health. Her second book of stories, Bliss, was published in 1921, and her third, The Garden Party, appeared a year later. After her death in 1923, two more collections of stories were published, also her Letters and later her Journal.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
If you like Penelope Lively or Tracy Chevalier, chances are you will love Katherine Mansfield's stories.
This is a collection of captivating short stories about life in the early 20th century. The author is a painter with words - she beautifully captures the colours, textures and atmosphere of the places and people she writes about, encapsulating a beauty and tranquillity that existed before the technological age; yet her stories are in no way sentimental. On the contrary, there is an edgy, almost surreal quality about them, and they seem to loiter at the fragile limits of concrete experience and human equanimity. They tap into real human feelings, never presuming to analyse fully, but only to understand with deep empathy the concerns, wishes, hopes and dreams that flow through our lives. Mansfield crafts each story with care - though seamlessly - and so each one satisfies the reader by having a theme, a development of it, and a resolution (even if this is an emotional state rather than a dramatic event). Finally, I wouldn't want you to assume that these stories are dreamy or passive. There are also some powerful and dramatic elements, so that reading them can be an emotionally intense experience. For example, 'The Little Governess' bowls you along unwittingly, in happy oblivion, until - but I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. The eponymous 'Bliss' explores the intense experience of joy in relation to beauty, and of joy and beauty in relation to cold hard reality.
Katherine Mansfield, who as a short-story writer has been compared to Chekhov, died at the age of 34 and does not seem to be as well recognised today as she fully deserves. Somehow the poignancy of her early death seems to be presaged in the numinous quality of these stories. There often seems to be a gently hovering question mark: it there a meta-narrative - some higher reality? But Mansfield's answer is to create a richer experience of the 'here and now' of her time.
Story heading's not obvious enough. Would not buy another book of this poor quality again!
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