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ELT 40:4 1997 on Giotto from 1901; in the footnote Fry disavows his earlier appreciation of Giotto's "dramatic idea" and claims that a more searching analysis could disentangle the formal from the associative response. Yet in the last decade of his life, Fry would return repeatedly to "the double nature of art," see art variously as "pure" or "literary" or as a combination of the two, appreciate both plastic and psychological values, and reassess his earlier story of "illusionistic decline and Cézannian redemption." The Roger Fry that Reed highlights for us is not all that different from Meyer Schapiro, whose "The Apples of Cézanne" (1968) revealed the poverty of a purely formal approach. But in another comparison Fry is his own deconstructive critic, ill at ease with binary oppositions and hierarchal choices and aware of the constitutive uncertainty of artistic meaning. At a moment when "subjectivity, contingency, and deconstructive openendedness are celebrated in contrast to the supposed certainty of modernist hierarchies," it is time, Reed proposes, that we return to the forgotten and unread essays. His collection provides us with a splendid opportunity to do so. Alistair M. Duckworth ________________University of Florida, Gainesville Mansfield's Letters The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield, Volume Four: 1920-1921. Vincent O'Sullivan and Margaret Scott, eds. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996. xv+ 372 pp. $80.00 VINCENT O'SULLIVAN and Margaret Scott, the editors of the multi-volume collection of Katherine Mansfield's letters, have given the literary world a gift. By publishing an uncensored version of her letters, they allow the personality of Katherine Mansfield to emerge in all its complexity. Up until O'SuUivan's and Scott's work, we had a volume of letters culled by John Middleton Murry, Mansfield's husband, who was intent on portraying "the artist as Camille," as Sydney Janet Kaplan says in Katherine Mansfield and the Origins of Modernist Fiction. But readers can certainly sense in Mansfield's fiction a far more complicated psyche than Murry wished to be known. With his death in 1957, Mansfield's letters, notebooks, and journals were released to the public. Scott seized the opportunity and began the arduous task of transcribing the letters. O'Sullivan supplies the annotation and the introduction to each volume. The work of these editors unveils a woman who can inspire admiration as well as exasperation, who can be petty and high-minded in equal measure, and who inquires into the depths of love, art, and 452 BOOK REVIEWS illness. Tragically a great number of Mansfield's letters have been destroyed, whether by the recipients' choice or, as in the case of Ida Baker, by Mansfield's command. Nevertheless, this collection of her letters provides, finally, an accurate and reliable foundation for Mansfield scholarship. One can step into the fourth volume of Mansfield's letters without any acquaintance with the first three and still have a very engaging read. The introduction explains her personal struggles, describes her relationships , and places each of the stories written during this time in the context of her life experience. The letters themselves are carefully transcribed. Even Mansfield's drawings are reproduced. Despite an occasional unevenness in the annotation, certain references being explained while others, equally obscure, are left undocumented, the editors not only fill in information about people and events, but also supply generous bonuses such as relevant passages from Mansfield's notebooks and journals, and previous drafts of letters. One would like to see, however, important figures in Mansfield's life who are described in notes in earlier volumes, such as Dorothy Brett and Anne Drey, documented in this volume. The space that this would require would be worth the convenience of having the material at hand. Volume Four: 1920-1921 covers eighteen highly productive yet dreadfully painful months of Mansfield's life. During this time she writes many of her best-known stories, such as "Miss Brill," "The Garden Party," and "At the Bay." Though she stays focused on her work because, as she says, "more than anything else—more even than talking or laughing or being happy I want to write," so much else in her life changes. Close friends offend and are...


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pp. 452-456
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Will Be Archived 2021
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