Why The Wind Blows

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Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) was an incredible short-story writer of the early 20th century. She was a contemporary, and indeed friend, of Virginia Woolf, she revelled in cutting edge art (she writes about the premiere performances of Stravinsky-Diaghilev ballets in her notebooks), and she led a rather scandalous life before dying of extrapulmonary tuberculosis at 34. I think she’s wonderful!

One of her stories, published in the collection Bliss, is called ‘The Wind Blows’. You can read it here and you should – set in her homeland New Zealand it vividly (although briefly) describes wildly windy and dusty cold weather, tense interactions with one’s mother, strange relationships with and counseling by one’s music teacher, secrets shared with a sibling, and a desperate desire to leave for distant shores that is one day realised. All of these things click with memories, fantasies or feelings of my own, and so I named this blog after that story.

Also, to play the flute both wind and blowing come into the picture. And wind is persistant, determined and ever moving – constant in an inconsistent kind of way – I hope I am too (in the words of Badiou-after-Beckett: “KEEP GOING!”).

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