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To see the story in its specific critical frame is in

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To see the story in its specific critical frame is, in fact, very similar to seeing it in the frame of the Jamesian style and canon generally: one alters the view of it with the perspective. One is less preoccupied by the authenticity of the governess' visions than conscious of their origins in and mode of expression through her own mind. The imagery of the story, with the anticipatory witness of the narrators of the frame, will lead us to this qualitative interest in the governess' mind, and will further offer an at least partial answer to the other-still great-questions of the story, the source of the evil in "The Turn of the Screw" and the meaning of Miles's death. James was aware, before he invented the governess, that those minds capable 2 Edel, pp. 211-12. 3 Edel, p. 223. o08 This content downloaded from on Wed, 14 Aug 2019 22:05:55 UTC All use subject to
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SUSAN CROWL JAMES'S ALLEGORICAL TURN of greatest original force and vision are often those capable of great delusion and a concomitant energy to publish and persuade that delus is thin and flexible at best between a mission for misguidance and a v governance. The governess tries to convince herself that she has found "To watch, teach, 'form' little Flora would too evidently be the makin and useful life" (p. 25).4 Yet there is a reaching unrest in her that exce grasp of presiding mistress of Bly. The governess, like other heroine has a wealth of donnees, in her case gifts of mind and person rather th One of the origins of the governess' sense of the evil at Bly, I believ with her sense of a power and potential in herself that will never rea or appropriate realization, or any expression other than frustration. Such an account of the sources of the governess' visions does not n mean that her visions are themselves fallacious. The net comment of mous evocation of the "spider-web ... of consciousness [which] . . . tak the faintest hints of life, converts the very pulses of the air into rev that this kind of impressionism is a mode of cognition as well as of Certainly such impressionism characterizes the quality of the gover rience and her ways of knowing; her force of conviction on such gr another question altogether. "The faintest hints" set off in her the ac intoxicated response not merely of her mind but of all her senses. Fu response is generally an interpretive one, carrying the experience beyo the Jamesian world a response is not finished until perception adva understanding. James's equation of nuance and revelation means that perience is not assimilated; it is largely generated in a finely suscep Such a view of experience is an exhausting one, perhaps still more so t trasting practices of a Fitzgerald or a Hemingway, for whom there w respite and retreat. For a Jamesian heroine, perhaps for James, momentarily on the sheer verge of void or is precipitated into ecst weight of a nuance. The question is, with James or the governess, n their private worlds afford them adequate access to the public, but wh
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