Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

More Stranger

I keep meaning to respond to the interesting questions you all posed about The Little Stranger. The big one first: who/what was the ghost? Waters does indeed imply in her article that you can see the good doctor as the ghostly presence, though in a way that ducks the issue, if you want a clear answer, as Emily does. Because he was never there when the events took place, he’d need some other agency to achieve the effects. Valerie, did you think Faraday was projecting his feelings through Betty? Waters was thinking of poltergeists as the force, but I know very little about them and how they are (rationally) explained. The dictionary definition is that they are spirits that manifest themselves by acts of mischief so I presume it is the troubled spirit of Faraday enacting the disturbances. The ‘how’ is where science and belief will collide and what makes this a ghost story. Does that take anyone any further forward?

As Emily and Valerie know, I adore the House on the Strand (D Du Maurier) and have read it many times, but I’d never seen it as a ghost story, rather as time-travel (not a genre I readily read). I guess time-travel raises similar conflicts between science and belief (small b), but I wouldn’t call it a ghost story.