Upcoming Events

International | Arts and Media

no events match your query!

New Events

International

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire

offsite link Russian Firms Rush to Buy Anti-Drone Def... Wed Apr 17, 2024 08:58 | Bloomberg

offsite link Ukraine Buys Huge Amounts of Russian Fue... Fri Jan 20, 2023 08:34 | Antonia Kotseva

offsite link Turkey Has Sent Ukraine Cluster Munition... Thu Jan 12, 2023 00:26 | Jack Detsch

offsite link New Israeli Government Promises to Talk ... Tue Jan 10, 2023 21:13 | Al Majadeen

offsite link Russia Training Iranian Pilots Ahead of ... Tue Jan 10, 2023 15:19 | The Times of Israel

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Alternative Copy of thesaker.is site is available Thu May 25, 2023 14:38 | Ice-Saker-V6bKu3nz
Alternative site: https://thesaker.si/saker-a... Site was created using the downloads provided Regards Herb

offsite link The Saker blog is now frozen Tue Feb 28, 2023 23:55 | The Saker
Dear friends As I have previously announced, we are now “freezing” the blog.  We are also making archives of the blog available for free download in various formats (see below). 

offsite link What do you make of the Russia and China Partnership? Tue Feb 28, 2023 16:26 | The Saker
by Mr. Allen for the Saker blog Over the last few years, we hear leaders from both Russia and China pronouncing that they have formed a relationship where there are

offsite link Moveable Feast Cafe 2023/02/27 ? Open Thread Mon Feb 27, 2023 19:00 | cafe-uploader
2023/02/27 19:00:02Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of

offsite link The stage is set for Hybrid World War III Mon Feb 27, 2023 15:50 | The Saker
Pepe Escobar for the Saker blog A powerful feeling rhythms your skin and drums up your soul as you?re immersed in a long walk under persistent snow flurries, pinpointed by

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTEs Sarah McInerney ? Fianna Fail supporter? Anthony

offsite link Joe Duffy is dishonest and untrustworthy Anthony

offsite link Robert Watt complaint: Time for decision by SIPO Anthony

offsite link RTE in breach of its own editorial principles Anthony

offsite link Waiting for SIPO Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link The cost of war, by Manlio Dinucci Wed Apr 17, 2024 04:12 | en

offsite link Angela Merkel and François Hollande's crime against peace, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Apr 16, 2024 06:58 | en

offsite link Iranian response to attack on its consulate in Damascus could lead to wider warf... Fri Apr 12, 2024 13:36 | en

offsite link Is the possibility of a World War real?, by Serge Marchand , Thierry Meyssan Tue Apr 09, 2024 08:06 | en

offsite link Netanyahu's Masada syndrome and the UN report by Francesca Albanese, by Alfredo ... Sun Apr 07, 2024 07:53 | en

Voltaire Network >>

Review of The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James

category international | arts and media | opinion/analysis author Wednesday November 05, 2014 13:34author by Paddy Hackett Report this post to the editors

Gothic Ghost Story

It does follow that truth is unattainable. However it is not easily acquired. Its acquisition is a struggle. To strip off illusion and much of ambiguity contemporary society needs replacement by a communal form that precludes social oppression

Henry James novella The Turn Of The Screw makes for interesting reading. It was first published in 1898. It is a gothic ghost story that is an eerie extension of everyday reality. However it tries one's patience because its stylistic character involves the universal use of circumlocutionary language. It could have been written more concisely. But perhaps there is good reason for its particular stylistic character of which I am not aware. By couching the novella in a circumlocutionary form he James may be endeavouring to endow everyday experiences with a less familiar form. He may, then, attempting to liberate language from its hackneyed (cliched ridden) form. His peculiar style of language may be an attempt to endow the book with a mysterious and gothic-like quality.

But its principal quality is the pervasiveness of ambiguity. Ambiguity runs right through the work. This means that there is never certainty concerning aspects of the putative reality being outlined in the little book. The governess at the large Gothic like country house called Blye starts to see ghostly images of two people that had worked there. One was her predecessor Miss Jessel. The other employee was Peter Quint. They are now dead. The governess becomes convinced that the two children, Miles and Flora, are secretly aware of the presence of the ghosts. But the reader, then, cannot be sure as to whether the governess really experiences these ghosts or whether she is delusional and that the ghosts existed only in her imagination.This is the ambiguity created by James. And in the latter part of the book we cannot be sure whether the boy, Miles, death is induced by the governess or for other reasons. Again this a result of the ambiguity created by James. The children, certainly Miles, are said to be involved in evil practices because of the influence of the two previous individuals who worked in the house. Yet there is essentially no evidence of the children being engaged in anything of an evil nature.Even Miles being expelled from school does not make certain that he had been particularly bad at boarding school.

The ambiguity permeating the story is an analogy for the ambiguity that forms an inherent part of modern society. Our conduct and experiences in society today is enveloped in ambiguity and illusion. We can never be certain of the real nature of many of our experiences because of the ambiguity in which these experiences are entangled. People that we interact with cannot be always found reliable. This is because much of what they say and do is entangled in illusion and ideology. Politicians and other public figures constantly, whether purposely or not, engage in discourse and action that is enveloped in ambiguity or illusion.Ideology from which we cannot absolutely escape in modern society is a form of illusion or ambiguity. Under capitalism ambiguity or illusion is a universal phenomenon.

The book's ambiguous nature transcends the matter of the governess and the supernatural images of Miss Jessell and Peter Quint. The ambiguity stretches into the other characters featuring in the book: Miles, Flora and Mrs Grose the housekeeper. None of them create any grounds for certainty either. They fail to confirm the character of the experiences of the governess. The illusions of the governess dominate the experiences of the governess herself along with those of the children and Mrs Grose. In a way the illusion is the dynamic dictating the (ambiguous) meaning of the novella. It is an indication of the social power of illusion. The inability to distinguish fact from fiction. Fact and fiction are mutually entwined.

Having said this it does follow that truth is unattainable. However it is not easily acquired. Its acquisition is a struggle. To strip off illusion and much of ambiguity contemporary society needs replacement by a communal form that precludes social oppression.

Related Link: http://paddy-hackett.blogspot.com/
© 2001-2024 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy