Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Turn of the Screw.

I've read the novella, seen the Britten opera, and watched the TV adaptation.

I just don't get the point: some young woman who might or might not be a hysteric has a spot of bother with some posh kids who might or might not have been touched up by a corrupt valet and his floozy, who (spot the theme) might or might not be visiting them from beyond the grave. It's all so utterly inconsequential, and fails to give me the chills or even hold my interest. Give me Sheridan Le Fanu or M. R. James any day.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Henry isn't in the genre of M.R. The novella, according to the least obvious and therefore (for a Henry James story) best reading, is a fiendishly complex psychological novel about a narrator who's a repressed pedophile and who elaborates, on the basis of vague clues, a ghost story to justify her own strong but unacknowledged feelings, with fatal consequences for one of the children. Rodger Cunningham

Bo said...

Indeed!

Suem said...

I'm not overly fond of James but I am a big fan of "The Turn of the Screw". I think it is a fantastic exploration of Victorian sexual repression and anxiety around the the innocence - and potential corruption- of children. It also draws on anxieties around class, governesses were socially ambiguous and often viewed with suspicion.
I love it!

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