First Night Design | Katherine Mansfield 1888-1923 | Quotes

In my opinion, New Zealand-born Katherine Mansfield was one of the greatest exponents of the short story. I devoured her work as a teenager and promptly tried to write just like her. Reader, I did not succeed! I am sad, now, that I threw these efforts away. Who knows what I might not have been able to do with them now. (Don’t answer that!)

Portrait of Katherine Mansfield (1918) by
Portrait of Katherine Mansfield (1918) by Anne Estelle Rice [Wikimedia]

“A. [Rice] came early and began the great painting — me in that red, brick red frock with flowers everywhere. It’s awfully interesting, even now. I painted her in my way as she painted me in hers: her eyes … little blue flowers plucked this morning.”

“Ach, Tchekov! Why are you dead? Why can’t I talk to you in a big darkish room at late evening—where the light is green from the waving trees outside? I’d like to write a series of Heavens: that would be one.”

“Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can’t build on it; it’s only good for wallowing in.” 


“The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.”

“The mind I love must have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, a pool that nobody’s fathomed the depth of, and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind.”

“I have such a horror of telegrams that ask me how I am!! I always want to reply dead.”

“I adore Life. What do all the fools matter and all the stupidity. They do matter but somehow for me they cannot touch the body of Life. Life is marvellous. I want to be deeply rooted in it – to live – to expand – to breathe in it – to rejoice – to share it. To give and to be asked for Love.”

The Garden Party and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)

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Take care and keep laughing!


13 thoughts on “First Night Design | Katherine Mansfield 1888-1923 | Quotes

  1. “Marriage a la Mode” is one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve ever read, and one of my Top Ten favorites of all time. Thanks for showcasing this fine writer.


    1. My pleasure. Thank you for dropping by and commenting. It’s time for me to re-read her. Most of my books are in storage at the moment because of moving so I can’t even take one off the shelf and glory in it which is what I want to do right now!


  2. I’m not sure what Gigi meant by saying Fabulous (hitandrun above), but I concur and would apply that to you, the post and Mansfield: you are all fabulous!! I love those quotes. I have been writing a lot of short fiction, fairy tales in my case, the last year, and I have grown quite fond of short stories. And I would have loved to hang out with Oscar Wilde. I like your blog a lot! Cheers, Brenda


  3. I agree with her quote about regret. I so want to slap those people who barrel straight on into disaster, even with forewarning, knowing full well they will have regrets for ages. Thank you for sharing all the wonderful quotes.


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