21
APR
2015

Creative Writing Bolton Manchester: Finding the right words with Katherine Mansfield-’ Ah -what is it?- that I heard?

Our experience of life is often thwarted by our inability to express what we feel through our words. It is as if language is always apart from us, apart from our experience, so that our words may  feel like ill fitting approximations, straining after ‘truth’ yet never quite getting there.  Yet without language, how can we make our experiences known- how can we communicate not only with others, but perhaps more importantly, with ourselves? Can we even experience our experience without resorting to the ‘salvation’ of language?  ‘These fragments I shall shore against my ruins’ said T S Eliot at the end of The Wasteland, one of the most honest and powerful declarations about language and its innate insufficiency,  I have ever read.  For writers language is always a challenge, and the skill of a writer is to find the ‘right words’ in order to reach the reader, so that an experience can be translated and re -experienced in a meaningful and resonant way. Katherine Mansfield as a short story writer was well aware of the ‘thriftiness’ of her chosen genre. A successful story is hard work,  as like poetry, there is very little room for redemption in a short story. The language of a short story is highly selective, standing in place of many alternative words, which then place considerable responsibility  on the words present to communicate to the reader. Little wonder Mansfield in her Journal and letters, worried about how ̵
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