I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. (Virginia Woolf) We become ourselves through others, and the self is a porous thing, not a sealed container (Siri Hustvedt) En vez de mirarme en mi espejo quiero que mi espejo se mire en mí (Alejandra Pizarnik)
I should like to write a life much in the style of Walter Pater’s “Child in the House”. About a girl in Wellington; the singular charm and barrenness of that place, with climatic effects- wind, rain, spring, night, the sea, the cloud pageantry. And then to leave the place and go to Europe, to live there a dual existence- to go back and be utterly disillusioned, to find out the truth of all, to return to London, to live there an existence so full & so strange that Life itself seemed to greet her, and, ill to the point of death, return to W. & die there. A story, no, it would be a sketh, hardly that, more psychological study of the most erudite character. I should fill it with climatic disturbance, & also of the strange longing for the artificial. I should call it “Strife”, & the child I should call- Ah, I have it- I’d make her a half caste Maori & call her Maata. Bring into it Warbrick in the guide.
The Katherine Mansfield’s Notebook. Complete edition. University of Minnesota Press, 2002