What They’re Reading
Katherine Mansfield’s 1918 story Je Ne Parles Pas Français is included in the New Yorker’s ‘What We’re Reading’ column, a selection of notes from the staff on their literary engagements of the week. Andrew Mantz writes: “In Je Ne Parles Pas Français, which was written five years before Hemingway published a word, a headstrong bohemian in a Paris café works out his relationship to masculinity. The story employs a host of postmodern pyrotechnics — abrupt shifts in point of view, tricky time dilation, snippets of imagined dialogue between author and reader —sixteen years before Tropic of Cancer, and three decades before For Esme — with Love and Squalor.” Mansfield was born in Wellington in 1888. She died in France of tuberculosis in 1923.