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A daily record of what I'm thinking about what I'm reading

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Friday, March 20, 2015

A template for Katherine Mansfield stories - Miss Brill

Miss Brill is by no means one of Katherine Mansfield's best stories but it is a template for her short fiction - so much of which involves a woman who is very happy with her life almost manic or ecstatic in her joy whose life is upended or placed in shadow by an observation or by a remark often overheard that is full of malice and cruelty. In this story the eponymous brill is visiting a park in Paris - apparently her Sunday routine - dressed as she sees it w great elegance in this case wearing a rather frightening and no doubt long out of fashion. She observes others in the park and imagines herself to be part of the "scene" but we see that she is lonely and perceived if at all as an eccentric -'almost a bag lady. At end a young couple sits near her and speaks about her to each other w mockery and condescension. Miss b hears all and swallows her tears very sad she was harming no one and the world is cruel. I think the couple was speaking in English and did not expect that she could understand tho this is not mad about plain. Some irony here in that the couple thought of her as French so in fact she didm"fit in" more than she'd thought

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