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Let me just confine myself to Mrs. Grose for this installment, since Mike is like a dog with a bone, all over every exchange to prove that the narrator is forcing her impressions on the poor old housekeeper, who is clearly reluctant to endorse the narrator’s wilder surmises. Read the rest of this entry »


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She herself had seen nothing, not the shadow of a shadow, and nobody in the house but the governess was in the governess’s plight; yet she accepted without directly impugning my sanity the truth as I gave it to her. — The “she” there is Mrs Grose. And we’ve touched on the class differencesbetween the governess and Mrs Grose in an earlier exchange. Mrs Grose simply isn’t in the position to challenge a lot of what the governess is saying. Mrs Grose certainly can’t outright call the governess a liar without risking, well, everything.

Also: the governess is honest about saying that Mrs Grose has seen nothing. This is going to be a common refrain from the governess. Either someone hasn’t seen something, or someone willfully doesn’t see something — whatever that means. Read the rest of this entry »

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I’ll start off-topic a little, with “The Tell-Tale Heart.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Hey, guess what! My Norton has the serialization notations, so I’m going to try to get us in line with each official segment. Chapter 5, according to Norton, is the end of the fourth installment.

On with my notes.  Read the rest of this entry »

You’ll find the first entry here: “The Turn of the Screw” — Introduction through Chapter 2

I think I’ve been inveigled into this, but what the hey . . . I’m always up for defending the naive reading of an unsophisticated doofus.  I see that Mike, to soften the blow of the blitzkrieg he has planned against me, says a few kind words about me at the start, including “Steve is usually right.”  I suspect that he first wrote “Steve is a legend in his own mind.”  Feeling that this was a little strong, and wanting to open with a formal exchange of compliments, he crossed that out and wrote “I don’t care what they say about Steve, he makes a decent cup of coffee.”  Then he decided that this was too complimentary, and with the kind of irony that he is going to find in The Turn of the Screw, wrote about my record of rightness in a preface to what he intends to be a thorough dismantling of my rightness and a demonstration that I read on the level of the comic strip Nancy.

Whatever.  Game on. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Steve’s fault. It’s always Steve’s fault. “The Turn of the Screw,” he said, “is just a straight-forward ghost story. The governess isn’t mad. The ghosts are real. Anything else is post-modern supposition.” So we’re in an argument. My hope is that by the end of this, I’ll have proven — to Steve, and, I guess, to myself, because Steve is usually right, and he may be right this time, but I don’t want him to be — that Henry James meant for The Turn of the Screw to be more than just a ghost story.

What follows will be the emails I send to Steve from each section I read through, and Steve’s responses.

A last bit of housekeeping: the edition I’m using is the Norton Critical Edition, Second Edition. Read the rest of this entry »

July 2018
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