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The Turning

15 henry james 04

Only vaguely do I remember reading ‘The Turn of the Screw’ in one of my college courses. Henry James did very little for  me. Sometimes emotional constipation can’t help but seep into a writer’s work (surely this blog has been in need of an enema more often than not) and while it makes for an interesting tension, it’s a tension that I’d rather do without. Still, he knows how to build suspense, and on this eve of Halloween, that is wonderfully apt.

“It may be, of course, above all, that what suddenly broke into this gives the previous time a charm of stillness—that hush in which something gathers or crouches. The change was actually like the spring of a beast.” ― Henry James

“I could only get on at all by taking “nature” into my confidence and my account, by treating my monstrous ordeal as a push in a direction unusual, of course, and unpleasant, but demanding, after all, for a fair front, only another turn of the screw of ordinary human virtue.” 
― Henry James

Of course I was under the spell, and the wonderful part is that, even at the time, I perfectly knew I was. But I gave myself up to it; it was an antidote to any pain, and I had more pains than one.” 
― Henry James

“I take up my own pen again – the pen of all my old unforgettable efforts and sacred struggles. To myself – today – I need say no more. Large and full and high the future still opens. It is now indeed that I may do the work of my life. And I will.” 
― Henry James

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