Updated 2 March 2018
Anton Chekhov (Russia 1860-1904) and Katherine Mansfield (New Zealand 1888-1923), two of my favourite authors. Tuberculosis killed them both. Chekhov had a tremendous influence on Mansfield, both on her life and in her writing. Mansfield translated most of Chekhov’s letters and works into English.
If you are interested in the Russian phase of Mansfield’s life, Katerina; The Russian World of Katherine Mansfield, by Joanna Woods, is a must read. Woods sets out this period of Mansfield’s life so meticulously that it serves as ready reference material for any questions which might come up regarding this phase of her life, and the other writers who featured in it.
‘”I would like to speak Russian with you” were among the last words written By Katherine Mansfield. She never went to Russia. but her life-long passion for everything Russian rune through her letters and notebooks in an unwritten thread.
Katya, Katoushka, Kissienka and Katerina were just some of the names that Katherine used at the height of her Russian pose, when she wore Russian dress, smoked Russian cigarettes, attended Russian concerts and embarked on a literary love affair with Chekhov that changed her writing – and her life.’
The photo of Katherine Mansfield above is taken from the cover of An Appraisal by Nariman Hormasji which gives another important aspect to Mansfield’s writing including the influence of Chekhov and other Russian writers and authors.
The Illustrated edition of THE GARDEN PARTY– Katherine Mansfield Short Stories first published in 1987, is a beautiful, colourful bound book I treasure.