Miles away from Screwing?

Queer Gothic Girlhood in John Harding's Florence and Giles

in Girlhood Studies
View More View Less
  • 1 Teesside University r.ollett@tees.ac.uk
Restricted access

Abstract

Literary fiction is a widely popular arena in which discourse on sexuality and queerness is produced and disseminated. The Gothic is an especially crucial mode in literary fiction that has a historically intimate relationship with queer subjectivity. Observing this relationship between Gothic fiction and queer subjectivity, in this article I analyze the representation of queer Gothic girlhood in contemporary fiction, taking as my focus reworking of the Henry James classic, The Turn of the Screw (1898). I show how Florence and Giles develops familiar tropes attached to the figure of the queer child and look specifically at how readings of the parent text implicate contemporary readings of this figure. With close readings that draw on the queer feminist ethics of Lynne Huffer, I consider what seems to be happening to the figure of the queer Gothic girl in contemporary fiction.

Contributor Notes

Robyn Ollett is in the final year of her PhD study based at Teesside University. Robyn's research interests centre on queer female identity, contemporary queer theory, and Gothic studies. Her thesis, “Queer Lives Through Dead Eyes: Observing the New Queer Gothic” focuses on the relationship between queer issues and subjectivities and the Gothic mode in contemporary film and fiction. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5991-4486. Email: r.ollett@tees.ac.uk

Girlhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

  • Bersani, Leo. 1987. “Is the Rectum a Grave?AIDS Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism 43 197222.

  • Blum, Virginia L. 1995. Hide and Seek: The Child Between Literature and Psychoanalysis. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

  • Bray, Abigail. 2009. “Governing the Gaze: Child Sexual Abuse Moral Panics and the Post-feminist Blindspot.” Feminist Media Studies 9 (2) 173191. doi:10.1080/14680770902814835

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brontë, Charlotte. [1847] 1992. Jane Eyre. London: Wordsworth.

  • Castle, Terry. 1993. The Apparitional Lesbian. New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Creed, Barbara. 1993. The Monstrous Feminine. London: Routledge.

  • Creed, Barbara. 2015. “Horror and The Monstrous-Feminine: An Imaginary Abjection.” In Dread of Difference, ed. Barry Keith Grant, 3268. Austin: University of Texas Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Felman, Shoshana. 1977. “Turning the Screw of Interpretation.” In Literature and Psychoanalysis. The Question of Reading Otherwise, ed. Shoshana Felman, 94207. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Foucault, Michel. [1976]1998. The History of Sexuality 1: The Will to Knowledge. London: Penguin.

  • Hanson, Ellis. 2003. “Screwing with Children in Henry JamesGLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 9 (3): 367391. doi:10.1215/10642684-9-3-367

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Harding, John. 2010. Florence and Giles. London: Blue Door.

  • Huffer, Lynne. 2013. Are the Lips the Grave? A Queer Feminist on the Ethics of Sex. New York: Columbia University Press.

  • Irigaray, Luce. 1993. An Ethics of Sexual Difference. Trans. Carolyn Burke and Gillian Gill. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

  • James, Henry. [1891] 2014. The Pupil. New York: Skyhorse.

  • James, Henry. [1897] 2007. What Maisie Knew. London: Penguin.

  • James, Henry. [1898] 2007. The Turn of the Screw. London: Penguin.

  • Moers, Ellen. [1976] 1978. Literary Women. London: The Women's Press Ltd.

  • Newman, Beth. 1992. “Getting Fixed: Feminine Identity and Scopic Crisis in The Turn of the Screw.” NOVEL 26 (1): 4363.

  • Punter, David. 1996. The Literature of Terror: A History of Gothic Fictions from 1765 to Present Day, Vol. 2: The Modern Gothic. London: Longman.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rigby, Mair. 2009. “‘Do you Share my Madness?’: Frankenstein's Queer Gothic.” In Queering the Gothic, ed. William Hughes and Andrew Smith, 3655. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Savoy, Eric. 2004. “Theory a Tergo in The Turn of the Screw.” In Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children, ed. Steven Bruhm and Natasha Hurley, 245277. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Stockton, Kathryn Bond. 2009. The Queer Child or Growing Up Sideways in the Twentieth Century. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

  • Tuhkanen, Mikko. 2014. Leo Bersani: Queer Theory and Beyond. New York: State University of New York Press.

  • Walsh, Sue. 2007. “Gothic Children.” In The Routledge Companion to Gothic, ed. Catherine Spooner and Emma McEvoy, 183193. Routledge: London.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clayton, Joel, dir. 1961. The Innocents. UK.

  • Del Toro, Guillermo, dir. Crimson Peak. USA.

  • Hitchcock, Alfred, dir. 1940. Rebecca. USA.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 214 92 14
Full Text Views 119 58 0
PDF Downloads 132 25 0