This is a story from the Bliss & Other Stories collection.
One of Katherine Mansfield's finest short stories, Bliss introduces us to Bertha, who experiences a sense of rapture as she reflects on her life. On her walk home one day, she is overwhelmed by a sense of bliss and contentment.
However, her joy later turns to disappointment as she discovers her husband is having an affair with her new friend Pearl.
Katherine Mansfield became well-known for her focus on psychological conflicts and complex characters; and "Bliss" displays these qualities brilliantly, exploring themes of marriage, adultery and duplicity. This set also contains five other short stories by Katherine Mansfield: "Mr Reginald Peacock's Day", "Pictures", "The Little Governess", "Feuille D'Album", and "A Dill Pickle".
Vera enters a café and unwittingly encounters a man she has not seen in six years. They begin to reminisce about their relationship, but the reunion soon turns sour as the man, newly prosperous and showing an attendant vanity, seems to be mocking Vera's relatively unsuccessful life. Katherine Mansfield's short story manages to explore ideas of lost love, classism, and the power dynamics of gender in a remarkably brief space. The story's deceptively simple structure hosts an intricate set of emotions that Juliet Stevenson performs with increasing insight, capturing the surprise, knotted nostalgia, and escalating tension that Vera feels throughout.
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