Modernism vs. modernity: Katherine Mansfield as critic

Title: Modernism vs. modernity: Katherine Mansfield as critic
Source document: Brno studies in English. 2016, vol. 42, iss. 2, pp. [5]-19
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

Katherine Mansfield, just like many of her contemporaries, was uncomfortable with the dark side of modernity and its effects – the mass culture and consumerism, the commodification of everything, including art. Yet her example seems to support the belief that modernism is not a simple reaction against modernity, as it was sometimes presented, and that the relation between the two is far from uniformly antagonistic. For one, Mansfield openly distanced herself from highbrow attitudes and rhetoric and embraced the opportunities of the market, negotiating her place in the artistic world through both the publication of her stories in journals and becoming an editor and reviewer herself. Looking more closely at Mansfield's rather neglected critical writings, this paper examines her own engagement with some of the predominant issues of her era, points out the similarities and differences between her and some of her more canonical contemporaries, and discusses her opinions concerning modernism and modernity in art and related questions of authenticity and tradition.
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