Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Katherine Mansfield, Society

Katherine shows her snazzy hairstyle, side-on, early last century.

New Zealand's greatest writer Katherine Mansfield has been honoured today with the announcement of the establishment of the international Katherine Mansfield Society. The influential modernist writer inspired a fundamental shift in the way writers in New Zealand and most notably abroad, put pen to paper. The Society, anchored by a pantheon of literary leaders including Emeritus Professor Angela Smith of the UK and Emeritus Professor C. K. Stead of NZ, is chaired by Emeritus Professor Vincent O’Sullivan who says the K.M.S aims to educate:

“Katherine Mansfield’s influence is still being felt by writers and readers today, and we want to ensure this recognition continues. The Society will work to ensure Katherine Mansfield is on school and university curricula in New Zealand and overseas and aims to establish a Mansfield memorial in her home town of Wellington. We will also be creating a biennial Katherine Mansfield Society literary scholarship – a Rhodes scholarship for literature as it were – for work in the modernist sphere.”

This is good news for the emerging Mansfield-inspired writers of the world, but the online presence of the K.M.S as a comprehensive resource for all things Katherine, may just be the icing on the cake. It includes images, literature on Mansfield and downloadable versions of all her short stories. Membership options range from a 'donation' to a 'student/unwaged' membership of 15 pounds a year right up to the champagne club-level three-thousand-six-hundred pound Life Membership.

Still, we wonder. Will the Society explain the Mystery of Maata?