Matt Koh's Reviews > The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers

The Turn of the Screw and The Aspern Papers by Henry James
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M 50x66
's review
Nov 01, 2011

really liked it
Read from November 01 to 22, 2011

The Turn of the Screw is the quintessence of the Gothic tradiction for its unreal, mysterious athmosphere and its horrifying, macabre scenes. Henry James portrays the story in a very ambiguous way, which enables various interpretations from the reader; thus, rather than being a very difficult read, it is more of a compelling adventure that daring reader take. This unfamiliar, complicated writing style that James undertake allows him to go beyond the average Gothic stories: the terror he arouses is more subtle than the ususal clanking and shrieking of the Gothic tradition, yet his characters and plot create a dark, sinister world that is even more terrifying for its being intangible and indescribable. James's apparitions are also more realistic than the ones of Gothic novels, making it a more frightening read Despite its lack of concreteness, these "hallucinations" are essentially linked by an affinity - the living share an ambiguous relationship with the ghosts. Although a confusing read, this psychological thriller should be a challenge that should be taken by all readers.

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