Standard Edition of Mansfield’s Work

One of the marks of a writer’s acceptance into the canon is the appearance of a Standard (or Scholarly) Edition of his or  her works. If I understand this sort of thing at all, Standard Editions collect all of an author’s work, and may include all known surviving correspondence, juvenilia, fragments, along with her finished products. This kind of foundational scholarship gives other types of academic scholarship and criticism an agreed upon place from which to start. It also makes popular editions easier to publish.

Not every canonized author gets a Standard Edition. Milton has one. Shakespeare doesn’t, and probably never will. There are just too many uncertainties, both of attribution and in the texts themselves, to make that possible. Trollope is another writer who, for different reasons, may never get his own Standard Edition. For a long time now, I’ve always felt that this is one of the reasons he’s not read in every undergraduate course on the Victorian novel.

This ends my long intro to the following article, from 2013, by the editors of the still  in progress Standard Edition of Katherine Mansfield’s work. It’s a little dry, and half of its concerned with Mansfield’s reputation in New Zealand, but still worth the effort, I think: Reconfiguring the National Canon (.pdf).


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