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2013 | XV/2 | 225-235

Article title

„A wonderfully good imitation of other occasions”, czyli o imitacji, tworzeniu i fatycznej funkcji języka w opowiadaniu Psychologia Katherine Mansfield


Title variants

“A Wonderfully Good Imitation of Other Occasions”: About Imitation, Creation and the Phatic Function of Language in Psychology by Katherine Mansfield

Languages of publication



The study focuses on Katherine Manfield’s short story entitled Psychology. A detailed analysis and interpretation aim at clarification what is missing in the story, as while reading the story one may feel the lack of something. The main character (“she”) has two guests who are parallel to each other and thus the story can be divided into two parts. Thanks to the second visit (of her female friend) the main character regains the peace of mind, which was ruined by man’s (the first guest’s) deviating from the established code of conduct in their relationship. Definitely, in the text the dominating function is the phatic function of language. However, it does not work as an introduction to a conversation but it is the conversation itself. The story builds a world in which there is no real contact between the characters and it may be interpreted as a reflection of a superfluous reading of a literary work of art. Nonetheless, the story invites the reader to the more careful reception of the literary text, paradoxically, by means of, among others, such a simple plot, a visible discrepancy between the open dialogues and the utterances of “secret selves”, autothematic allusions and the lack of the diachronic dimension.





Physical description





  • Chesterton, G.K. (1981). The Quick One. W: G.K. Chesterton. The Complete Father Brown. London, Penguin Books Ltd, s. 604.
  • Mansfield, K. (1962). Psychologia. Tłum. J. Stawiński, I. Tuwim. W: K. Mansfield. Upojenie i inne opowiadania. Warszawa, Czytelnik, s. 164–176.
  • Mansfield, K. (1962). Upojenie. Tłum. W. Peszkowa. W: K. Mansfield. Upojenie i inne opowiadania. Warszawa, Czytelnik, s. 132–155.
  • Mansfield, K. (1962). Wieje wiatr. Tłum. J. Stawiński, I. Tuwim. W: K. Mansfield. Upojenie i inne opowiadania. Warszawa, Czytelnik, s. 156–163.
  • Mansfield, K. (1967). Psychology. W: K. Mansfield. Bliss and Other Stories. London, Penguin Books Ltd, s. 117–125.
  • Pismo Święte Starego i Nowego Testamentu (2000). Poznań, Pallottinum.
  • Woolf, V. (1992). The Waves. London, Penguin Books Ltd.
  • Jakobson, R. (1989). Poetyka w świetle językoznawstwa. W: R. Jakobson. W poszukiwaniu istoty języka. T. 2. Tłum. K. Pomorska. Warszawa, PIW, s. 77–124.
  • Żyłowska, I. (2004). Malarskie inspiracje w „Upojeniu” Katherine Mansfield. Acta Neophilologica 6, s. 29–38.

Document Type

Publication order reference



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