Experiments in Narrative: Katherine Mansfield and the Close-up

Anna Kwiatkowska

University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland

Anna Kwiatkowska is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Literary Studies in the Department of Humanities at the University of Warmia-and-Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland. Her academic interests center on Modernist literature and its links with broadly understood art. She specializes in the works of Katherine Mansfield and E. M. Forster. She is the author of the monograph devoted to the novels of E. M. Forster entitled Sztuka na miarę, czyli dwa światy bohaterów E. M. Forstera (2013) and several articles dedicated to the English twentieth-century prose. She is the Secretary of the International E. M. Forster Society.


https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3202-4114



Abstract

In the publications dedicated to Katherine Mansfield’s oeuvre, the traces of the cinematic in her narratives and, in particular, the importance of close-up are duly noted. However, despite the fact that the writer’s interest in close-up is earlier than her mature interest in cinema, the discussions do not devote much consideration to the beginnings of the technique visible in Mansfield’s early works. The comparative analysis of two stories, i.e., “At ‘Lehmann’s’” and “The Little Governess,” exemplifies, therefore, the development of Mansfield’s close-up technique and, most importantly, describes how exactly the writer develops it. The essay points to the traces of this particular cinematic tool in the writer’s pre-cinematic period and considers Mansfield’s verbal close-ups with a close reading method. The analysis adds to the critical conversations over Mansfield’s cinematic interests and their influence on her narrative technique. It demonstrates how the development of close-up enhances what is to become Mansfield’s central point, i.e., the subject-object relationship, and how it influences the emotional reception of the character.

Keywords:

close-up, narrative technique, cinematic, Katherine Mansfield

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Published
2024-06-06


Kwiatkowska, A. (2024) “Experiments in Narrative: Katherine Mansfield and the Close-up”, Crossroads. A Journal of English Studies, (44), pp. 99–118. Available at: https://czasopisma.filologia.uwb.edu.pl/index.php/c/article/view/2258 (Accessed: 16 July 2024).

Anna Kwiatkowska 
University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland

Anna Kwiatkowska is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Literary Studies in the Department of Humanities at the University of Warmia-and-Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland. Her academic interests center on Modernist literature and its links with broadly understood art. She specializes in the works of Katherine Mansfield and E. M. Forster. She is the author of the monograph devoted to the novels of E. M. Forster entitled Sztuka na miarę, czyli dwa światy bohaterów E. M. Forstera (2013) and several articles dedicated to the English twentieth-century prose. She is the Secretary of the International E. M. Forster Society.

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3202-4114