Saturday, February 08, 2014

Kevin Pietersen in The Turn of the Screw

Kevin Pietersen's expulsion for nameless and unnameable offences is strangely reminiscent of Henry James's famous ghost story The Turn of the Screw:
"What does it mean? The child's dismissed his school." 
She gave me a look that I remarked at the moment; then, visibly, with a quick blankness, seemed to try to take it back. "But aren't they all—?" 
"Sent home—yes. But only for the holidays. Miles may never go back at all." 
Consciously, under my attention, she reddened. "They won't take him?" 
"They absolutely decline." 
At this she raised her eyes, which she had turned from me; I saw them fill with good tears. "What has he done?" 
I hesitated; then I judged best simply to hand her my letter—which, however, had the effect of making her, without taking it, simply put her hands behind her. She shook her head sadly. "Such things are not for me, miss." 
My counselor couldn't read! I winced at my mistake, which I attenuated as I could, and opened my letter again to repeat it to her; then, faltering in the act and folding it up once more, I put it back in my pocket. "Is he really BAD?" 
The tears were still in her eyes. "Do the gentlemen say so?" 
"They go into no particulars. They simply express their regret that it should be impossible to keep him. That can have only one meaning." Mrs. Grose listened with dumb emotion; she forbore to ask me what this meaning might be; so that, presently, to put the thing with some coherence and with the mere aid of her presence to my own mind, I went on: "That he's an injury to the others."

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