Shopping Cart



Day 10

Chapters 20–21

July 18, 2020 by Garth Greenwell

It’s possible she’s a haunted little demon child, but I love to see neglected, dismissed Flora finally snap at the governess. The sentence snaps too, from the tumble of adjs to the repetition of “and” to the final inversion of adj & noun. The drama! —Garth

“…an expression of hard still gravity, an expression absolutely new and unprecedented and that appeared to read and accuse and judge me—this was a stroke that somehow converted the little girl herself into a figure portentous.”

In 1934 Edmund Wilson argued that there are no ghosts & the governess “is a neurotic case of sex repression.” This has had a huge influence & led to huge debate, which you can read about here. —Garth

In the 1961 film The Innocents, Deborah Kerr said she played the governess as “perfectly sane.” I love what Truman Capote says about how much work he had to do adapting the book for film. I don’t really love the movie, but many people do! —Garth

Sign up for A Public Space's Newsletter