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APS TOGETHER

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James Day 7

July 15, 2020 | Chapters 12–13

The logic of the witch hunt: the appearance of goodness has become evidence of wickedness. —Garth

“‘Their more than earthly beauty, their absolutely unnatural goodness. It’s a game,’ I went on; ‘it’s a policy and a fraud!’”


The novella is so economical & swift that I always remember the story as taking place over a short time: a few weeks maybe. But in fact it covers months, & the change of seasons is crucial: from green, expansive summer to chill, dark, cramped autumn. —Garth

“The summer had turned, the summer had gone; the autumn had dropped upon Bly and had blown out half our lights.”


The uncle is an absence presiding over the drama, & the governess imagines herself in a kind of virtual courtship with him. James, lifelong bachelor & queer observer of the pageantry of heterosexuality, can be absolutely savage about gender politics. —Garth

“For the way in which a man pays his highest tribute to a woman is apt to be but by the more festal celebration of one of the sacred laws of his comfort."

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