chapter  6
'Always a Sacrifice': Executing Unities
Pages 19

It is ironical that in general critical usage the one word 'unity' slides among so many diverse meanings. Some of these need not be lingered over here, because they appear to indicate no more than an evaluative gesture. When one critic asserts that Katherine Mansfield's stories of late Victorian life in New Zealand are 'unified by the selecting eye of a great prose artist' (Gordon 1974: xiv), no precise textual analysis is involved. When another inverts that kind of judgement by declaring the form of the typical Mansfield story to be 'all too unified' (Bayley 1976: 33), mere impression is still posing as aesthetics.