Henry James, The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James My rating: 4 of 5 stars How did this 1898 novella become modern and postmodern literary theory's most inscrutable touchstone? According to Henry James's Notebooks—and scholars have disputed this, but then they dispute everything, as we'll see—he got the kernel of the novella, a ghost story, from … Continue reading Henry James, The Turn of the Screw

A Personal Canon

A number of book bloggers are posting their personal canons. They are very fun: see here, here, and here, for instance. (It reminds me of the "literary pillars" exercise inspired by William H. Gass; see Samuel R. Delany's here and Brian A. Oard's beautifully comprehensive one, starting here.) I thought to do the same, but the … Continue reading A Personal Canon

Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski My rating: 3 of 5 stars "The good parts are good; he just keeps not having the good parts." Such was the verdict rendered upon House of Leaves and its author by someone I know who left the novel unfinished—a "confirmed ghost story and horror film addict" (quoth Jack … Continue reading Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves