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The Garden Party and Other Stories
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message 1: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1227 comments Mod
This thread has been set up to discuss the stories in The Garden Party and Other Stories.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Hi

Thanks Emily for setting up the threads! I'm leading the discussion & I'm super excited about it!

I've borrowed a Penguin paperback from the library & also have it on my kindle.

I would ask people to use spoiler tags in the early stage of the read at least. Don't want to spoil a first time read for anyone! :)


message 3: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments Is this the same table of contents you have?

"At the Bay"
"The Garden Party"
"The Daughters of the Late Colonel"
"Mr and Mrs Dove"
"The Young Girl"
"Life of Ma Parker"
"Marriage à la Mode"
"The Voyage"
"Miss Brill"
"Her First Ball"
"The Singing Lesson"
"The Stranger"
"Bank Holiday"
"An Ideal Family"
"The Lady's Maid"


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Alexa wrote: "Is this the same table of contents you have?

"At the Bay"
"The Garden Party"
"The Daughters of the Late Colonel"
"Mr and Mrs Dove"
"The Young Girl"
"Life of Ma Parker"
"Marriage à la Mode"
"The Vo..."


Yes that's the list. I'll put my edition up on GR later today.

I have read these stories quite a few times, but the last time was over 20 years ago.

& for those who don't know me, I'll mention that I am a New Zealander, so I'm on quite a different time zone than most of you! :)


message 5: by Ariel (new)

Ariel | 1 comments Hi everyone,
Forgive me if it is already posted somewhere and I've missed it, but what is the reading schedule?
Thanks
AP


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Hi Ariel

I'm leading this discussion but I'm not a moderator of this group.

I can't find the thread where the times were discussed, but the Mill on the Floss was given longer because of the length of the book. The Garden Party is a short collection of short stories (my edition only around 156 pages) I think the time frame is around now till about the 5th of August (when I go on holiday)

I asked Emily for two threads - one for discussing the stories themselves, (this one!) one for discussing Katherine Mansfield herself.

Clear as mud? :)


message 7: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1227 comments Mod
We are going until August 5. Of course, the discussions can continue past that date. This is the thread where we discussed it: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 8: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments We have three weeks to discuss it and there are 15 stories. So perhaps about a story a day, and then the last few days for a discussion of the entire work? (I think the original decision was actually to discuss it until August 2nd.)


message 9: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1227 comments Mod
Lisa was supposed to finish MotF on July 13, which was six weeks and Carol was to start on July 14 and go three weeks, which would end on August 4. The August read would technically start on August 5, but it doesn't matter if there are a few days of overlap.


message 10: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments Ha, I guess your calendar counts weeks differently than mine does! Not that any of it really matters! ;)


message 11: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1227 comments Mod
Alexa wrote: "Ha, I guess your calendar counts weeks differently than mine does! Not that any of it really matters! ;)"

They are not Sunday-Saturday weeks.


message 12: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Jul 31, 2016 06:34PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Ok now that we are all on the same page (haha, I kill me)

I have finished At the Beach.

Crescent Beach is Days Bay.

My husband grew up in York Bay near by. Late 1950s early 1960s this area was still fairly rural. So (view spoiler)

I liked the impressionist style and lack of plot. Probably a little long. For me 4★


message 13: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Jul 17, 2016 08:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments The Garden Party

Wow what a mistresspiece this jewel of a short story is. A child's bewilderment at her world is beautifully realised. Possibly symbolising by Mansfield as a poverty stricken New Zealander not really fitting in in British society? 5★


message 14: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments I'm just now starting this. "At the Bay" has the most beautifully evocative opening. She paints the picture exquisitely!

This really struck me: "But as soon as one paused to part the petals, to discover the under-side of the leaf, along came Life and one was swept away."

"And what was left of her time was spent in the dread of having children." Yikes!

There is so much going on here - all deeply drenched in the reality of family life on vacation. Even today almost every detail would still be true.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Interestingly enough the Penguin notes say this story is based on the Beauchamps time living in Karori. (they moved around a lot.) But Karori is an inland Wellington suburb.


message 16: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments Perhaps they went away on vacation while they lived there?

I love the way she gives us just a few moments inside all the different heads. The mom falling in love with her baby. The husband buying himself gloves while he insists he's full of remorse about his treatment of his wife. The various folks not at all interested in socializing. The children's games. I felt as if at various times I've been all of them.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Alexa wrote: "Perhaps they went away on vacation while they lived there?

No the notes describe karori as a "seaside community" which it quite definitely wasn't.

I don't think the mother is falling in love with her baby. I think she can see how adorable he is but hasn't bonded with him.


message 18: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments She has definitely not yet bonded with him, but isn't that smile the first step? (We can hope!)


message 19: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments "The Garden Party." Wow!

"That absorbed inward look that only comes from whipped cream." Yes!

But then the shift, to "I can't understand how they keep alive in those poky little holes." Poverty clearly being the fault of the poor.

Really a powerful look at class, and how it demands we have convenient consciences.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Alexa wrote: ""The Garden Party." Wow!

Really a powerful look at class, and how it demands we have convenient consciences.


& you don't get it so much now, but a lot of Kiwis are really proud of being a "classless society." It was never true of course.

& even now in some towns the houses of the poor can be very close to the well off.

I felt every feeling with Laura.


message 21: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments Yes, she's really good at putting us inside people's heads and making us feel with them.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Alexa wrote: "Yes, she's really good at putting us inside people's heads and making us feel with them."

The biography I've been reading quotes Mansfield as intending to write novels. I wonder if she would have been so good on the bigger canvas?


message 23: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments That's a fascinating question - perhaps I'll have more of an opinion after I finish this - right now I'm seeing beautiful little vignettes!


message 24: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments Oh, and do others realize this is available for free on Project Gutenberg? http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1429


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Alexa wrote: "Oh, and do others realize this is available for free on Project Gutenberg? http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1429"

There is also an edition that is free on kindle.

https://www.amazon.com/Garden-Party-O...

I acquired that but also have a Penguin that I borrowed from the library.


message 26: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1227 comments Mod
Alexa wrote: "Is this the same table of contents you have?

"At the Bay"
"The Garden Party"
"The Daughters of the Late Colonel"
"Mr and Mrs Dove"
"The Young Girl"
"Life of Ma Parker"
"Marriage à la Mode"
"The Vo..."


Thanks for listing these. My library book was published in 1933, so I wasn't sure they were in the same order.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments The Daughters of the Late Colonel

This is clever writing! Both comedy & tragicomedy. (view spoiler) 5★


message 28: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments I just read this one myself! I found it disturbing yet hopeful. (view spoiler)

I also thought it fascinating the way she gives us just one sentence's worth of insight into Kate's mind. She's done this unannounced jumping from mind to mind in all three stories so far.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Alexa wrote: "I just read this one myself! I found it disturbing yet hopeful. [spoilers removed]

I also thought it fascinating the way she gives us just one sentence's worth of insight into Kate's mind. She's d..."


Oh yes! & I normally hate multiple POV literature. Amazing that KM can do it so well in the confines of a short story!


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Alexa wrote: "I'm just now starting this. "At the Bay" has the most beautifully evocative opening. She paints the picture exquisitely!

This really struck me: "But as soon as one paused to part the petals, to d..."


I've just finished this story, and that was the quote that really struck me as well.

This whole story is just picaresque and beautiful. And I love how we get that little glimpse of darkness in Linda - how she doesn't love her children and knows it and admits it freely to herself. It makes the character seem more real to me.

And I loved the beginning of chapter XII, when she describes how everything is so different at night.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Mr and Mrs Dove

This is sweet. & cleverly written.

(view spoiler) Maybe needed to be fleshed out a bit more. 4.5★


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

"Life of Ma Parker" is absolutely one of the saddest stories I've ever read.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments The Young Girl

More clever writing! A young girl with all the affectations of a teen (view spoiler) 5★


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Life of Ma Barker

Wendy wrote: ""Life of Ma Parker" is absolutely one of the saddest stories I've ever read."

Totally agree! The most moving story so far. 5★


message 35: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1227 comments Mod
"The Garden Party" left me wondering if Laura remains sensitive and caring toward others or if she gets swept away by the shallowness of her society. I think there is a hint that she will change as she views herself in the new hat: "Never had she imagined she could look like that. Is mother right? she thought. And now she hoped her mother was right...Just for a moment she had another glimpse of that poor woman and those little children, and the body being carried into the house. But it all seemed blurred, unreal, like a picture in the newspaper. I'll remember it again after the party's over she decided."


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments ☯Emily wrote: ""The Garden Party" left me wondering if Laura remains sensitive and caring toward others or if she gets swept away by the shallowness of her society. I think there is a hint that she will change as..."

Very true! & every challenge will bother Laura a little less.
This is supposed to be based on a real event & Laura is KM.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Marriage a la Mode

I really want to discuss this one.! So far, the story most open to different interpretations. 5★


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "Marriage a la Mode

I really want to discuss this one.! So far, the story most open to different interpretations. 5★"


This is another one that I found very sad.


message 39: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1227 comments Mod
Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "The Young Girl

More clever writing! A young girl with all the affectations of a teen [spoilers removed] 5★"


Didn't quite understand the last paragraph.


message 40: by Alexa (new) - added it

Alexa (AlexaNC) | 435 comments ☯Emily wrote: ""The Garden Party" left me wondering if Laura remains sensitive and caring toward others or if she gets swept away by the shallowness of her society. I think there is a hint that she will change as..."

I've found this same teetering between pessimism and optimism in all of the ones I've read so far. It's as if in each case she leaves her character tottering on this knife edge - and us not knowing which way she'll fall. Such amazing tension!


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments ☯Emily wrote: "

Didn't quite understand the last paragraph."


(view spoiler)


message 42: by ☯Emily , The First (last edited Jul 23, 2016 03:05PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1227 comments Mod
Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "☯Emily wrote: "

Didn't quite understand the last paragraph."

[spoilers removed]"

I got that, but the last paragraph seemed out of place: (view spoiler)


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Oh sorry I must still be half asleep!

I didn't take it that way, but her mother's addiction undoubtedly leaves her at risk.

The only casino I have ever been to is Sky City in Auckland which I found a very depressing place.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "Marriage a la Mode

I really want to discuss this one.! So far, the story most open to different interpretations. 5★"


I wondered (view spoiler)


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments The Voyage

Beautiful writing of the slice of life kind. 4★


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments Miss Brill

For me, the saddest story. My heart ached before I started reading (as I knew what was coming) I wish I could give 6★, but 5 it is. (view spoiler)


message 47: by ☯Emily , The First (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 1227 comments Mod
Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "The Daughters of the Late Colonel

This is clever writing! Both comedy & tragicomedy. [spoilers removed] 5★"


I found this so sad. (view spoiler)


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: " Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "Marriage a la Mode

I really want to discuss this one.! So far, the story most open to different interpretations. 5★"

I wondered [spoilers removed]"


This is an interesting question. I just reread the ending and I think that (view spoiler)


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

Carol ♔ Type, Oh Queen! ♔ wrote: "Miss Brill

For me, the saddest story. My heart ached before I started reading (as I knew what was coming) I wish I could give 6★, but 5 it is. [spoilers removed]"


This was the very first story I ever read by Mansfield, when I was eighteen years old. It was in one of those fat English anthology textbooks that you get for your English 102 course. I fell in love with this story the moment I read (view spoiler)


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 373 comments KM works like a painter, doesn't she?


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