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Bliss, and Other Stories


Bliss, and Other Stories


Is ignorance “bliss?” Is it best to live blissfully ignorant of the truth—or live with the knowledge of a painfully cruel reality?

In "Bliss" the reader is introduced to 30-year-old Mrs. Bertha Young. She seemingly has everything: an ideal life, an adorable baby, an abundance of money, friends, books and music, etc.

She is in perfectly in love with her husband, Harry, of course.  (Just not in that way.)

The story involves a dinner party given by Bertha and Harry.

Accidentally, Bertha sees Harry and their young guest, Pearl Fulton, (someone who Bertha is mysteriously drawn to) standing together in the hall, as he helps her on with her coat.

Clearly, they are in the throes of an affair.

The story opened up a lot of questions, about deceit, about knowing oneself and also about the possibility of homosexuality at the start of the 20th century.

KATHERINE MANSFIELD (1888–1923) was a prominent modernist writer of short fiction. Her stories often focus on moments of disturbance and frequently open abruptly. Among her most well known works are The Garden Party, The Daughters of the Late Colonel, and Bliss, and Other Stories, a collection of stories that captures with accuracy those emotionally-charged moments when an individual stands most revealed. Tragically, Mansfield contracted tuberculosis, which led to her death at age 34.

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