KATHERINE MANSFIELD (1888 –1923), THE PSEUDONYM OF KATHLEEN MANSFIELD MURRY, WHO WAS A MAJOR NEW ZEALAND MODERNIST WRITER OF SHORT STORY.
“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.”
“Everything in life that we really accept undergoes a change. So suffering must become Love. This is the mystery. This is what I must do.”
“It's an infernal nuisance to love Life as I do. I seem to love it more as time goes on rather than less. It never becomes a habit to me. It's always a marvel. I do hope I'll be able to keep in it long enough to do some really good work. I'm sick of people dying who promise well.”
“Whenever I prepare for a journey I prepare as though for death. Should I never return, all is in order. This is what life has taught me.”
“Warm, eager, living life — to be rooted in life — to learn, to desire to know, to feel, to think, to act. That is what I want. And nothing less. That is what I must try for. … This all sounds very strenuous and serious. But now that I have wrestled with it, it’s no longer so. I feel happy — deep down. All is well.”
“When we can begin to take our failures nonseriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves.”
“I want so to live that I work with my hands and my feeling and my brain. I want a garden, a small house, grass, animals, books, pictures, music. And out of this, the expression of this, I want to be writing (Though I may write about cabmen. That's no matter.) But warm, eager, living life — to be rooted in life — to learn, to desire, to feel, to think, to act. This is what I want. And nothing less. That is what I must try for.”
“When I say "I fear" — don't let it disturb you, dearest heart. We all fear when we are in waiting-rooms. Yet we must pass beyond them, and if the other can keep calm, it is all the help we can give each other.”
“The ostrich burying its head in the sand does at any rate wish to convey the impression that its head is the most important part of it.”
“Sleeping was her latest discovery. It’s so wonderful. One simply shuts one’s eyes, that’s all. It’s so delicious.”
“It is the only life I care about—to write, to go out occasionally and ‘lose myself’ looking and hearing and then to come back and write again. At any rate that’s the life I’ve chosen.”
“Oh, with you, I could conquer the world - oh, with you I could catch hold of the moon like a little silver sixpence.”
“And it seemed to her that kisses, voices, tinkling spoons, laughter, the smell of crushed grass were somehow inside her.
“What did garden-parties and baskets and lace frocks matter to him? He was far from all those things. He was wonderful, beautiful.”