02 April 2012

The Turn Of The Screw ~ Henry James


To each his own ... but this style is not for me
Scary story ... but even scarier sentence construction

This was my first Henry James ... this will be my last Henry James. His writing style got the better of me. The sentences are long with multiple subjects, inserted clauses, excessive wordage. I think I could virtually copy any sentence at random from the book and copy it here to show the repetitive, convoluted, muddy style. I have never minded the old, sometimes clumsy, style of Hardy, Bronte et al, but this was something else! This is wordy and repetitive and often I felt a need to second guess what the sentence was about, let alone the narrative.

At times I thought that I was glad that I had seen the movie so that I could make sense of it all, but I feel that the "unreliable narrator" is as much in evidence as the "gothic horror", giving it a thought provoking ambiguity. Is it haunted? Is she mad? Do I care?