[Msa-discuss] Katherine Mansfield Society 2019 Essay Prize Winner Announced

KMS Account kms at katherinemansfieldsociety.org
Mon Nov 4 09:38:46 EST 2019


The Katherine Mansfield Society is pleased to announce the winner of this
year's prize for a scholarly essay on the theme of the centenary of the
publication of Katherine Mansfield's* Bliss and Other Stories*. This has
been awarded to Richard Cappuccio for his essay,  ‘The Well-Tempered Story:
Experiments with Sound in "The Man Without a Temperament”’.
The judges for this year’s prize were Professor Enda Duffy (Arnhold Chair,
English Dept., University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, and Chair of
the Judging Panel), Professor Marilyn Reizbaum (Harrison King McCann
Professor of English, Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Program, Bowdoin College, Maine, USA), and Professor Sarah Cole (Parr
Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Dean of Humanities,
Columbia University, New York, USA).
The judges were unanimous in their praise for the essay, which offers a new
approach to thinking about the specific modulation of Mansfield’s modernist
prose. Chair of the Judges, Professor Enda Duffy, notes: ’The writer is
clearly very well informed  both on modernist music and on the classical
repertoire, and the range of references is striking. Similarly, he is
expert on Mansfield, not only on the primary materials but on the full
range of Mansfield criticism. He also makes excellent use of Mansfield’s
letters to John Middleton Murry to prove the writer’s conscious and
specific interest in capturing particular cadences and rhythms in the prose
flow of each of her stories. On the matters of both "the noises of
modernity" and even more on its silences, the essay is revelatory. Of the
story "The Man Without a Temperament" he provides as far as we know a
striking new reading, unprecedented in its sensitivity for the ways in
which sound, whether acknowledged or not, can "bring [a character] back to
life”. Using in part Helen Rydstrand’s recent work in *Rhythmic Modernism*,
he reads the short story as a modernist performance piece, a score of
modernist dissonant, living experiment, in which Mansfield’s intense
concentration on evoking "the middle of the note" is what brings the work
to life’.
The judges also agreed that the essay  '‘‘We were a nothingness shot with
gleams of what might be. But no more": Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf
and the Queer Sublime’, by Oxford postgraduate student Eleri Watson was to
be commended for its quality and insights, which reads key ‘sapphic’
moments in ‘Bliss’, ‘Prelude’, and Virginia Woolf’s *Mrs. Dalloway* as a
version of a specifically queer sublime, commenting: 'This fine essay
stands as a notable invitation and a critical incitement to study even more
the intersection of sublimity and queerness in the stories of Katherine
Mansfield’.
Richard Cappuccio is an independent scholar who has written numerous essays
on Mansfield which have been published in a variety of volumes and journals
including Katherine Mansfield Studies*, The Journal of New Zealand
Literature, Katherine Mansfield and the Bloomsbury Group, *and the
forthcoming *Modernism Revisited. *He will receive a prize of £200, and
both his essay, as well as Eleri Watson's will appear in Volume 12 of the
Katherine Mansfield Society's annual yearbook, Katherine Mansfield Studies,
on the theme of *Katherine Mansfield and Bliss and Other Stories*, which
will be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2020. Members of the
Katherine Mansfield Society will receive a copy on publication.
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