Mansfield Questionnaire: Kate De Goldi
Kate De Goldi responds to our slightly irreverent literary questionnaire, inspired by Katherine Mansfield.
Write a prelude to your life in one sentence.
Very early morning: my mother tries unsuccessfully to wake my father who has read The Day of the Triffids into the small hours.
Would your father have accepted your plea for musical training?
He did. I learned the piano and the cello for years.
Do you speak French?
If you were to, at any stage, become a ghost who would you haunt?
I'd rather hang round with a book.
Do you keep ‘great complaining notebooks’ a.k.a. journals?
Garden parties. Yes or no?
Probably not. Too many hats.
Where have you had the best time of your life?
Where have you had the worst time of your life?
If you were to use a nom de plume, what would it be?
Virginia Woolf wrote ‘I was jealous of her writing — the only writing I have ever been jealous of.’ Who are you most jealous of?
Ugly word, jealous. I would love to write like Ursula Dubosarsky.
Where are you in the family birth order?
Eldest of three sisters.
You left home and then:
I lived with boys for the first time. So interesting.
What is your favourite short story?
"Griffin" by Charles Baxter.
What was the last real letter you wrote?
To my friend, Sally.
What brings you bliss?
A summer day in Greymouth.
How would you like to die?
With some clothes on.
‘There is no twilight in our New Zealand days, but a curious half-hour when everything appears grotesque—it frightens—as though the savage spirit of the country walked abroad and sneered at what it saw.’ What are your feelings on New Zealand twilight?
Very nice, back lit, under a Nor'west arch Christchurch.
Has anyone ever said of you that you’re ‘a dangerous woman’?
My daughter. She thinks I bump into people a lot.
Have you ever had an X-ray?
Write a brief history of your eyesight:
Is there ‘the taint of the pioneer’ in your blood?
‘I want to be REAL.’ True or false?
Mostly, it's surreal.