“È un aloe, Kezia” disse Linda. “Non fa mai fiori?” “Sì, bambina mia” disse la madre. Chinò la testa verso Kezia e, socchiudendo gli occhi, le sorrise: “Una volta ogni cento anni”.È dal desiderio di dar voce alla terra natale, la Nuova Zelanda, “una terra sconosciuta da far guizzare per un istante davanti agli occhi del Vecchio Mondo”, che tra il 1915 e il 1916 nasce L’aloe, che Katherine Mansfield chiamava “il mio romanzo” e dal quale avrebbe poi tratto uno dei suoi racconti più intensi, Preludio. Se l’autrice non fosse morta a 34 anni di tisi, quest’opera avrebbe dovuto svilupparsi in una narrazione composita, in cui far rivivere tutte le persone care, le case e i giardini luminosi dell’infanzia, ma anche le loro parti in ombra e le correnti segrete del desiderio. Attraverso una forma e una scrittura tersa, sobria e musicale, L’aloe si colloca tra gli esiti più alti dell’opera di Mansfield, quelli in cui il male di vivere è più dolorosamente tangibile.
A landmark collection of BBC Radio productions of the works of Katherine Mansfield - plus bonus dramas and documentary
One of the great Modernist authors, Katherine Mansfield was a short story virtuoso, redefining the genre with her subtle, powerfully perceptive tales. A prolific writer, she penned over 60 stories and several poetry collections before her death from TB in 1923, aged only 34.
This outstanding collection opens with Radio 4's 2020 series And Other Stories: Katherine Mansfield. It comprises dramatisations of 'Marriage a la Mode', 'Something Childish But Very Natural', 'Bliss', 'Daughters of the Late Colonel', 'The Garden Party', 'Ma Parker' and 'Her First Ball', all starring Hattie Morahan, as well as readings of 'The Stranger', 'Miss Brill', 'A Cup of Tea', Poison' and 'The Doll's House', narrated by Hugh Bonneville, Barbara Flynn, Hattie Morahan and Blake Ritson.
Morven Christie reads Mansfield's newly-discovered early short story 'Little Episodes', and selected stories from her first collection In A German Pension - 'Germans at Meat and Frau Fischer', 'The Sister of the Baroness', 'The Modern Soul', 'The Advanced Lady' and 'Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding' - are dramatised with a cast including Claire Skinner, Eleanor Bron and Emma Cunniffe.
Also included are eight of her lesser-known tales: 'A Dill Pickle' (read by Clare Corbett), 'Mr Reginald Peacock's Day' (read by Brian Gear), 'Sun and Moon' (read by Lin Sagovsky), 'Psychology' and 'Pictures' (read by Eileen Atkins), 'The Voyage' (read by Indira Varma), 'Honeymoon' (read by Emilia Fox) and 'The Fly' (read by Sam Dale). In addition, her evocative poem 'Winter Song' is read by Sir Derek Jacobi.
Two original dramas explore moments in the life of the great author. Katie Hims' Luxembourg Gardens reimagines Katherine Mansfield's last day in Paris and stars Hattie Morahan, while Cherie Rogers' An Oddly Complete Understanding looks at Mansfield's friendship with Virginia Woolf and stars Rosalind Shanks and Penelope Wilton. The passionate correspondence between Katherine Mansfield and her husband John Middleton Murray is revealed in Darling Mouse, Precious Worm, read by Kerry Fox and Michael Maloney. And in Great Lives: Katherine Mansfield, Jacqueline Wilson assesses the impact of Mansfield's brilliant but tragically short career.
2. Something Childish But Very Natural
3. Marriage a la Mode
4. Daughters of the Late Colonel
5. The Garden Party
6. Life of Ma Parker
7. Her First Ball
8. The Stranger
9. Miss Brill
10. A Cup of Tea
11. The Doll's House
13. Little Episode
14. Germans at Meat and Frau Fischer
15. The Sister of the Baroness
16. The Modern Soul
17. The Advanced Lady
18. Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding
19. Dill Pickle
20. Mr Reginald Peacock's Day
21. Sun and Moon
24. The Voyage
26. The Fly
27. Winter Song
28. Luxembourg Gardens by Katie Hims
29. An Oddly Complete Understanding by Cherie Rogers
30-34. Darling Mouse, Precious Worm - letter between Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murray
35. Great Lives: Katherine Mansfield - with Jacqueline Wilson
Katherine was born on the 14th October 1888 into a prominent family in Wellington, New Zealand, the middle child of five.A gifted celloist, at one point she thought she might take it up professionally but writing gradually began to move to the forefront of her interests. Her first writings were published at an early age in school magazines.At 19 Katherine left for England where she met and befriended the modernist writers D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf amongst others. She then travelled to Europe before returning to New Zealand. There she began to write the short stories that she would later become so famous for. Her stories often focus on moments of disruption and frequently open rather abruptly. There was another less-heralded side to Katherine's writings; that of poetry. Her verse certainly reflects much of the themes of her life and interests. Many poems are beautiful, thoughtful, tender and observant works on the human condition. Some though seem out of kilter for so great a talent, almost child-like in form and content. But taken as yet another facet of her work they accomplish much in helping us to understand her.By 1908 she had returned to London and to a rather more bohemian lifestyle. Life was to be lived and enjoyed. A passionate affair resulted in her becoming pregnant and in her being married off to an older man. But she left him the same evening with the marriage unconsummated. She was then to miscarry and be cut out of her mother's will (allegedly because of her lesbianism).In 1911 she was to start a relationship with John Middleton Murry, a magazine editor, and although it was volatile he supported her work and she wrote some of her best stories.During the First World War Mansfield contracted extrapulmonary tuberculosis, which rendered any return or visit to New Zealand impossible and led to her death at the tender age of 34 on 9th January 1923 in Fontainebleau, France.
In a German Pension is a 1911 collection of short stories by the writer Katherine Mansfield; her first published collection. All but three of the stories were originally published in The New Age edited by A. R. Orage; the first to appear was 'The Child-Who-Was-Tired'. The last three were first published in this collection.
The stories were written after her stay in Bad Wörishofen, a German spa town in 1909, where she was taken by her mother after her disastrous marriage, pregnancy and miscarriage. Some reflect the coarse habits and arrogance of Germans, and some refer to the exploitation and repression of women by men.
'Her First Ball' is a 1921 short story by Katherine Mansfield. It was first published in The Sphere on 28 November 1921, and later reprinted in The Garden Party and Other Stories.
A young girl called Leila has come to the city to stay with her cousins. They are going to a ball. Leila is very excited: this is her first ball. Once there, she is both excited and terrified. After dancing with several young boys her own age, she dances with a wrinkly balding man who has been coming to balls for a while. This spoils her mood until she dances with a good looking young gentleman where her worries disappear.
'Life of Ma Parker' is a 1921 short story by Katherine Mansfield. It was first published in The Nation and Atheneum on 26 February 1921: The gentleman opens his door to his charwoman, who tells him that her grandson has died. Through an analepsis, the grandson asks his grandmother for money, which she says she does not have.
Marriage a La Mode is a 1921 short story by Katherine Mansfield. It was first published in The Sphere on 31 December 1921, and later reprinted in The Garden Party and Other Stories. - The title is a play on the phrase mariage à la mode in French, which means 'fashionable marriage'.
William would usually buy his children sweets because he knows his wife won't let him buy them 'big donkeys and engines', as that would be unseemly. This time he buys fruit instead.
'Miss Brill' is a short story by Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923). It was first published in Athenaeum on 26 November 1920, and later reprinted in The Garden Party and Other Stories.
Miss Brill is an English teacher living near the Public Gardens in a French town. The narrative follows her on a regular Sunday afternoon, which she spends walking about and sitting in the park.
Mr. and Mrs. Dove is a 1921 short story by Katherine Mansfield. It was first published in The Sphere on 28 November 1921, and later reprinted in The Garden Party and Other Stories.
Reginald is returning to Rhodesia the next day; it is his last day in England. Again he thinks of Anne; then he goes to Colonel Proctor's to say goodbye, and he is greeted by Anne, her parents being away. On seeing him she laughs, then he tells her he is leaving. They both look at her pet doves. She remarks how 'Mr. Dove' is always running after 'Mrs. Dove'. Reginald asks her if she likes him, and she says she cannot marry him. He's unhappy at the rejection, and tries to depart. She asks why he's upset, but he persists in leaving. As he's walking away, she calls him again, and he goes back to her.
The Advanced Lady is a short story by Katherine Mansfield: 'Do you think we might ask her to come with us,' said Fräulein Elsa, retying her pink sash ribbon before my mirror. 'You know, although she is so intellectual, I cannot help feeling convinced that she has some secret sorrow. And Lisa told me this morning, as she was turning out my room, that she remains hours and hours by herself, writing; in fact Lisa says she is writing a book! I suppose that is why she never cares to mingle with us, and has so little time for her husband and the child.'
The Baron is a short story by Katherine Mansfield: 'Who is he?' I said. 'And why does he sit always alone, with his back to us, too?' - 'Ah!' whispered the Frau Oberregierungsrat, 'he is a Baron.' - She looked at me very solemnly, and yet with the slightest possible contempt - a 'fancy-not-recognising-that-at-the-first-glance' expression.