Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Henry James, Tell Us From Beyond the Grave Plz

"As the gruesomeness gathers, the beautiful country house effectively falls away, like flesh receding from the skull of a cadaver, and we’re deposited in a hellish, plantless, low landscape of bone and stone: plenty of places to run, but nowhere to hide."

The New Yorker isn't willing to pick a side in the eternal battle of Team Ghost v. Team No Ghost, the Governess is Insane.

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Nicole! I read Turn of the Screw for Halloween at your behest, and I really liked it! It was a nice read for rainy evenings. Except that I really wanted more of the ending. Also, some of the syntax bugged me. Like, "I was, at that moment, in spite of propriety, still thinking of what I had seen, ever fearful that it may show itself to me once more, pooping." Is this a Henry James thing? Or am I just whining for no reason.


@chnellociraptor Yes, complicated syntax is very much a Jamesian thing.


Thank you for sharing this wonderful article! @t


I am always Team It's Sort Of Both! Aka the Switzerland of literary debates and also the person who is annoying in lectures...


I would disagree with anyone who made a definitive decision about ghosts/no ghosts in The Turn of the Screw (or of my absolute favorite of the ghost/no ghost genre, The Haunting of Hill House) because knowing would take away a good portion of lovely creepiness of the story- the reader can never be sure of anything.


Team governess is crazy! Also, wildly overwrought. Not even a question in my mind, not because I don't believe in ghosts, but because that lady be nuts.


The 'ghost' is real, for it is the lingering doubt that the reader is haunted by after finishing the story (at least that's what I said in my James seminar).


Man, is there anything scarier than a "pastoral idyll?"

Fear Biter

I can't believe the New Yorker got the little girl's name wrong! This is more horrifying to me than any ghost story.

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