paddle around with in your own, personal âï¬at-bottomed boat,â the governess or the ghosts?1 I think I would opt for Peter Quint, myself. I always did. Quint is one of the rare instances of working-class testosterone in Jamesâs ï¬ction, but mysterious and brooding though he may be, he has never succeeded as a romantic hero. In the criticism on Jamesâs 1898 novella, he remains guilty without proof, a ï¬end without a deï¬nite crime, and I suspect that his dalliance with the little boy, Miles, has something to do with it. Miles is a literary milestone, as is his sister, Flora, in that they mark a most distinguished beginning to the tradition of the sexual child as gothic conundrum in the English novel. The Turn of the Screw is indeed âthe ï¬rst occurrence of its charming kind that I know to have been concerned with a childâ (1), given that earlier gothic novels occupied themselves primarily with the psychosexual mysteries of repressed women and demonic men rather than of wayward children. In the cinema we have to wait until the late 1950s and early 1960s for the species to make a signiï¬cant appearance: The Innocents (1961), Jack Claytonâs ï¬lm
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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