Voices of the Ghost III:
Here are two terrifying and sobering stories of ghosts who will stop at
"The Romance of Certain Old Clothes"
The American master storyteller Henry James gives us a story
full of questions. A woman loses her heart to a man, but then loses that man
to her sister. Which did she really want: her sister's husband, or her
sister's trousseau? Will her desires cost her her life? When her sister
dies, she finally marries him, and her sister's trousseau comes to her as
well - along with a spirit of jealous envy, even of the dead, that leads her
to a terrible confrontation. The mastery of human psychology that marked all
of Henry James' work plays out in this mystery of the human heart, a mystery
that even goes beyond the grave.
In this M. R. James story, three children learn that a
classical scholar's love of the past has led him into a terrible and bloody
delusion. His bloody fixation on hermetic lore, which seems to promise
eternal life, leads two of them to their deaths, but not to the end of their
existence. That does not come, if it comes at all, until the third child
falls into the scholar's power.
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