The Turn of the Screw, James

10882679 Hmm. A tough one. I have vague memories of reading The Turn of the Screw at uni, but I seem to remember the whole Freud element our tutors loved to peddle winding me up and essentially causing me to disengage.

Anyway, I thought a reread was long overdue, and now my feeling is…that I’m essentially…underwhelmed.

I fully expect to be lynched for admitting this, and hold my hands up in surrender. I’m not suggesting it’s not an incredible piece of writing; it’s just not an incredible piece of writing that I connected overly well with.

There are three things I took from this one.

1. James’ sentences are some of the most convoluted and tangled I’ve ever seen. They’re like entire beings, birthed onto the page in a tangle of ink, crawling away from your eyes as fast as you try to read them.

2. The Governess is completely bonkers.

3. Possibly purely precocious little kids are almost as terrifying as potentially possessed little kids.

Great concept. I’m just not a big fan of the execution. After the exhaustion of cutting through some of those sentences, I was looking, I think, for less ambiguity, and more concrete reward.


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