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Positively Uncertain: The Refutation of Scientific Monism in Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw” and Guy de Maupassant’s “Le Horla”

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Title: Positively Uncertain: The Refutation of Scientific Monism in Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw” and Guy de Maupassant’s “Le Horla”
Author: Raghavan, Krishnan
Advisor: Burshatin, Israel; Schönherr, Ulrich
Department: Bi-College (Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges). Comparative Literature Program
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: During the latter half of the nineteenth‐century, scientific discourse came to dominate the sociopolitical climate of Western Europe as a result of the immense fertility of discovery in the natural sciences at the time. The scientific skepticism of the era shaped the supernatural narratives “Le Horla” by Guy de Maupassant and “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James in obliging these authors to craft a more liminal, “realistic” supernatural. Both author’s fantastic narratives remain ultimately ambiguous; however, this ambiguity subverts and critiques the forward progression mandated by positivist doctrine. Positivism is denigrated on a narrative level in both stories through the representation of techniques of positivist psychology as ultimately impotent. Maupassant and James’ aesthetic approaches towards this “new supernatural” ultimately champion a more pluralistic perspective than that of positivism.
Subject: Science in literature -- History -- 19th century
Subject: Supernatural in literature -- History -- 19th century
Subject: James, Henry, 1843-1916 -- Criticism and interpretation
Subject: James, Henry, 1843-1916. Turn of the screw
Subject: Maupassant, Guy de, 1850-1893 -- Criticism and interpretation
Subject: Maupassant, Guy de, 1850-1893. Horla
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/7135

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Citation

Raghavan, Krishnan. "Positively Uncertain: The Refutation of Scientific Monism in Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw” and Guy de Maupassant’s “Le Horla”". 2011. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/7135.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/

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