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Journal of Katherine Mansfield



[The following occurs in the middle of an unpublished and unfinished MS. called “By Moonlight.” “Karori” was the “novel” of which Prelude and At the Bay were—at one time—to have formed parts. But eventually the idea was abandoned, because K.M. saw that her “novel” would have been so unlike a novel that it was no use calling it one.]

I am stuck beyond words, and again it seems to me that what I am doing has no form! I ought to finish my book of stories first and then, when it's gone, really get down to my novel, Karori.

Why I should be so passionately determined to page 191 disguise this, I don't quite know. But here I lie, pretending, as Heaven knows how often I have before, to write. Supposing I were to give up this pretence and really did try? Supposing I only wrote half a page in a day—it would be half a page to the good; and I should at least be training my mind to get into the habit of regular performance. As it is, every day sees me further off my goal. And, once I had this book finished, I'm free to start the real one. And it's a question of money.

But my idea, even of the short story, has changed rather, lately—That was lucky! J. opened the door softly and I was apparently really truly engaged…. And—no, enough of this. It has served its purpose. It has put me on the right lines.