Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Experiencing A Disconnect

On my reading docket is a collection of Katherine Mansfield short stories. It’s my first foray into Mansfield’s work and after consuming a bit of it, I needed more context. Who was she? Where did her characters come from?

When I was scanning book titles at the library’s 2-for-1 sale, I noticed Journal of Katherine Mansfield and without hesitation scooped it into my stack. When I opened it the other night, this passage popped out: [Caution: It’s funny at first glance, but becomes tragic the longer you think about it. Read fast and don’t think!]

I positively feel, in my hideous modern way, that I can’t get into touch with my mind. I am standing gasping in one of those disgusting telephone boxes and I can’t ‘get through.’

“Sorry. There’s no reply,” tinkles out the little voice.

“Will you ring them again—Exchange? A good long ring. There must be somebody there.”

“I can’t get any answer.”

Then I suppose there is nobody in the building—nobody at all. Not even an old fool of a watchman. No, it’s dark and empty and quiet . . . above all, empty.

Can you relate? I know I can.

[Portrait of Katherine Mansfield by Anne Estelle Rice.]

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