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Day 5

Chapters 8–9

July 13, 2020 by Garth Greenwell

James’s difficulty comes from his need to capture feelings too nuanced for standard notation. Here: eagerness for information that confirms a view you're determined not to hold. Is there a German word for that? I don't think there's one in English. —Garth

“It suited me too, I felt, only too well; by which I mean that it suited exactly the particular deadly view I was in the very act of forbidding myself to entertain.”

Sometimes it’s helpful to hear James’s sentences read aloud. The best audio version of Turn of the Screw I’ve found is Emma Thompson's—who, it turns out, did her degree on James. Here she is talking about the novella.—Garth

The governess’s obsession with Miles—& neglect of Flora—is a little breathtaking. James was very good at writing female children—most famously in What Maisie Knew. This story focuses on Miles, but the governess may learn she has underestimated Flora.—Garth

“What surpassed everything was that there was a little boy in the world who could have for the inferior age, sex and intelligence so fine a consideration.”

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