Rewriting Mansfield: Writing, Editing and Translation
This thesis explores the notion, the process and the ethical implications of rewriting, drawing on insights from literary and translation theories, psychoanalysis and trauma studies. It analyses three major forms of rewriting: the author’s, the editor’s and the translator’s. While writing, editing and translation have their own specific norms of production, methodologies, possibilities and limits, all these textual practices are implicitly concerned with the meaning-making process of rewriting. Chapter One presents the central case study of the project: John Middleton Murry’s editing of Katherine Mansfield’s notebooks, which resulted in the publication of Journal of Katherine Mansfield (1927). The chapter reviews relevant Mansfield scholarship and discusses textual, methodological and theoretical issues concerning the problem of rewriting. Chapter Two follows the ebb and flow of Mansfield’s own rewriting process by discussing the ways in which she ‘translated’ her notebook entries into her fiction. Chapter Three offers a re-reading of the Journal of Katherine Mansfield and sheds new light on Murry’s controversial editorial manipulation. Chapter Four examines the first Italian translation of the Journal – Diario di Katherine Mansfield, authored by Mara Fabietti in 1933 – and my own re-translation of ‘Life of Ma Parker’ – a 1921 Mansfield story that epitomizes the main themes and issues addressed in this study. This thesis demonstrates how deeply intertwined writing, editing and translating are, and presents an understanding of rewriting as a complex and fascinating process that simultaneously resists meaning and yearns for it.