“I would like to get out of this place. But outside, rain is falling, the depressing, black, and desolate rain of the south, which has turned a whole town - white in the sun yesterday the length of its seafront - into a yellow quagmire. Outside this place there is only the rain and the hotel bedroom. Those who travel without respite, those who wander in isolation, those who site down in a small restaurant at a table laid with a single plate, a single glass, and prop their folded newspaper against the water jug, such persons know the periodic, regular recurrence of fits of mental despair, the disease bred of loneliness.” —colette, ‘moments of stress’ (1913), in robert phelps, ed., the collected stories of colette, p.138.
“The searching gaze of the woman on the omnibus wandered for an instant from all this, away to Westminster Bridge and the blue distance of Lambeth, where darting lamps, like will-o’-the-wisps come to town, added a touch of magic relief to the dinginess of night. Then she came back again to the sharp realism of the foreground and found no will-o’-the-wisps there, only the lights of London shining on a picture she should remember to the end of her life. It did not matter, for the thing beyond it all that she wanted to be sure of, shone through rain and mud alike.” —
evelyn sharp, ‘the women at the gate’ (1910), in bonnie kime scott, ed., gender in modernism: new geographies, complex intersections, pp.37-43 (pp.37-8).
“Here then is a little summary of what I need - power, wealth and freedom. It is the hopelessly insipid doctrine that live is the only thing in the world, taught, hammered into women, from generation to generation, which hampers us so cruelly. We must get rid of that bogey - and then, then comes the opportunity of happiness and freedom.” —katherine mansfield, journal, may 1908.
“Katherine Mansfield was saved, it seems to me, by two things - her inveterate watchfulness as an artist, and a certain sturdiness in her nature which the English at their least friendly might call ‘colonial’. She had much to stand out against. She was in danger of being driven, twice over, into herself - by exile to begin with, then by illness. In London she lived, as strangers are wont to do, in a largely self-fabricated world.” —elizabeth bowen, ‘a living writer: katherine mansfield’, in the mulberry tree, p.79.
“I was jealous of her writing. The only writing I have ever been jealous of.” —Virginia Woolf on Katherine Mansfield (Diaries, vol. 2, p. 227)
“[…] these selves of which we are built up, one on top of another, as plates are piled on a waiter’s hand, have attachments elsewhere, sympathies, little constitutions and rights of their own” —virginia woolf, orlando (1928), p.294.