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The Turn of the Screw
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'Poet and…moreThere's also an implication that they sexually molested the children, which I first thought as I read and then saw again on wikipedia:
'Poet and literary critic Craig Raine, in his essay "Sex in nineteenth-century literature", states quite categorically his belief that Victorian readers would have identified the two ghosts as child molesters'(less)
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Meaning, understanding and certainty all become elusive chimera in this ambiguous game of hide-and-seek that Henry James plays with us. Have you ever been in one of those weird situations where you wondered if you were losing your mind, doubting whether what you were seeing was real? And... what it was that you were seeing?
This is one of those "what the heck??" novels that you often find in the modernist genre. Not originally classed as a modernist ...more
On the other hand there's his writing style. I was at this party once and the topic was what would you do if the world was ending and the answer was generally that we would have all the se ...more
Screen shot from the 1961 version of The Innocents based on the James short story.
A governess is hired to look after the nephew and niece of a man who has inherited the responsibility for the children after the death of their parents. He is very explicit in his instructions to the governess that he is not to be bothered with e ...more
I mean, I thought I'd get a few good jump scares out of a book with possessed children in it. You know what didn't happen, not even once, while I was listening to this book?
I'm not sure why my teenage self thought The Turn of the Screw was worth 4 stars, but my older-than-teenage self certainly doesn't.
On the surface, it seems like this should be a winner for me in the classic department - short, scary...short. But it was kinda crap.
So the gist is that thi ...more
I could not decide whether I was more intrigued by the Gothic thriller or the intricate jalebi of the prose, a truly - truly - labyrinthine prose, which James employs with great effect for the purpose of dissimulation. (Folks would later dub it 'unreliable narration.') You can trust James to phrase the most simplest of ideas and situations in the most imaginative of ways without making a fool of you; but if you still insist on cl ...more
Henry James’ story has no flaws per se; instead, has a pollen bearing promise to turn into a full feather. A series of apparition that haunts the governess of a house, driving her to cast her net of suspicion across all the residents, primarily the children, makes for a premi ...more
The governess' first impression of the place was very favorable and the kids were adorable. Add to this good sal ...more
Paranormal Activity 6 : The Turn of the Screw
01:25 17th AUGUST 1895 : THE GOVERNESS’ BEDROOM
04:55 23RD AUGUST 1895 : FROM THE WINDOW OF THE MAIN STAIRCASE
Anyway, great story, but I must mention three STYLISTIC ISSUES which may perhaps GRATE on the less patient reader.
1) In The Turn of the Screw, as in a lot of HJ’s stuff, people like to finish each other’s sentences :
“But aren’t they all – “
“Sent home? Yes.” P33
“Did she see anything in the boy –“
“That wasn’t right? She never told me.” P 36
“He c ...more
I usually love, love, love old creepy gothic horror stories, but this one (to me) was not scary or eerie or even very atmospheric. Now, there were a couple of "sightings" in a window, one in particular that made me think......oh boy......here we go, but my hopes were soon short lived.
Besides a couple of suspicious deaths and the strang...more
The story is that a governess goes to an English country house to take charge of two orphaned children, Miles and Flora. The governess is told she must manage everything herself and not disturb the children's uncle, who is their guardian. Soon the governess is alarmed when she sees an unknown man and woman around the estate, a ...more
And 75%. And 90%.
I was actually really excited to read this classic Henry James novella, a gothic ghost story published in 1898. A young woman is hired to be the governess for two young orphans by their uncle, whose good looks and charm impress the governess. She wants to impress him in turn with her capability, especially when his main command to her is that she never, NEVER, bother him with any problems or concerns.
She's packed off to the uncle's country estate to meet young Flora an ...more
It is the worst thing in the world to leave children with servants.
Maria Edgeworth , Practical Education, 1798
Of all the vulgar superstitions of the half educated, none dies harder than the absurd delusion that there is no such thing as ghosts.
William T Stead, Real Ghost Stories, 1897
The T of the S is a very mechanical matter, I honestly think – an inferior, a merely pictorial, subject and rather a shameless pot-boiler.
Henry James in a letter, 1898
Come, let us enter what Wayne Booth called “t ...more
Questo libro mi ha fatto paura, m'ha messo i brividi, m'ha costretto a leggere solo in presenza del sole per tenermi lontano da buio e tenebre: ci sono i fantasmi o li vede solo la governante? E' lei, figlia di un pastore, così rigida da inventarsi tutto o i fantasmi imperversano davvero? I bambini sono vittime, complici o addirittura carnefici?
E anche se tutte queste domande rimanessero senza risposta precisa, che importa? Si tratta comunque di una splendida unica storia d'amore.
Η αλήθεια ειναι πως ο συγγραφέας εξ αρχής ακροβατεί ανάμεσα σε πραγματικά ή φανταστικά γεγονότα και καταστάσεις που αφήνει την εξήγηση τους στη διακριτική ευχέρεια του αναγνώστη.
Επομένως μέσα σε όλη την ομιχλωδη και την αδιευκρίνιστη εξέλιξη της πλοκής το βιβλίο τούτο ή το λατρεύεις ή το μισείς. Δεν αφήνει περιθώρια μέσης λύσης.
Το δικό μου συμπέρασμα δεν έχει να κάνει με φαντά ...more
No, really. It's interesting though. On the surface, this story is perfect to curl up by the fire with on a cold winter's night. Which is exactly how the book is framed, by the way. As a story told in front of a fireside on a cold winter's night. It's short, it reads quickly, and is open to pretty much whatever you want to make of it. James lets yo ...more
The Turn of the Screw is old school horror. More eerie and creepy rather than horrid and ghastly, but effective in its ability to scare with atmosphere and suggestion. What better setting to do so than the cold, damp and lonesome English countryside?
Είδα τα παιδιά ως καθαρές ψυχές, σχεδόν σαν λευκή κόλλα χαρτί, να προσεγγίζουν το Κακό και το Καλό με την ίδια αγνότητα. Όπως είναι κάθε παιδί ανέγγιχτο από την ενοχή που προκαλεί η συνειδητοποίηση πολλών πραγμάτων καθώς ενηλικιωνόμαστε όπως η αισχρότητα, η ντροπή και άλλα.
Είδα την γκουβερνάντα ως το σύμβολο αυτό, που ήρθε να τους υποδείξει το Κ ...more
It's also old, so the ghost story is not at all thrilling or causing a "page-turner" status. The same thing happens over and over again and it's "scary", all to arrive at an ambiguous climax that is interesting, but not really ...more
I know many readers are not impressed by this book, but I enjoyed it, (again). I know it's rather verbose, especially considering the length of the book, but I found more than a few of the sentences to be outright chilling.
I've always loved psychological horror and ambiguous stories, so this one hits most of the marks for me. My original rating of the book, at 4 stars, stands.
Really? I thought it was boring and dated and just a bit silly. It would make a good B movie and that's about it's level, for me anyway.
Seriously though, one must not diss the classics even if one does not like them, it is very bad form. Certainly w ...more
Count me among the impressed. This is an extraordinary work.
But first a short introduction, I’ve read for my entire six decades of life. I’m college educated; but I have no Literary education past high school, nor have I any real background concerning Henry James other than a failed high school book report on Daisy Miller. I’ve read a very brief review on the internet by an admired friend who gave away little, but expressed an enormous respect for this work. Howev ...more
I was not in the mood last night to plunge into my current buddy read, so I turned to this classic Kindle freebie. It was short. The perfect bed-time story. NOT.
Scary as anything and seriously weird. At least five or six times I literally had chills running down my back and once I finished I couldn't sleep. I'm still not sure what it was all about, but I felt better when I saw from reviews on Goodreads that hundreds and hundreds of professor-types have ...more
In both literature and film I've always avoided horror stories, ghost stories and other narratives in which the supernatural features prominently. Call me a wuss, but that's the way it is for me. This may be the reason I've not read this novella before. The other reason may be that my only two prior experiences of reading Henry James are mixed. I liked The Portrait of a Lady (read circa 1976) and I remember nothing about The Golden Bowl (read circa 1978) other than that my university lecturer sa ...more
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