All were different, and all had in common that they promised the vividest
colors, the highest productivity and the fastest growth.
James explains in his Preface to story's New York edition that, when "asked for something seasonable by the promoters of a periodical dealing in the time-honored Christmas-tide toy, I bethought myself at once of the vividest
little note for sinister romance that I had ever jotted down." (5) James acknowledges Robert Collier's solicitation of the tale, denigrates the magazine tradition of the holiday "toy," but still praises The Turn of the Screw as an exceptional but diminutive "little note." The story he both promoted and denigrated evidently suited the magazine's expectations.
Such moments of revelation, of meaningfulness, are immediately undermined, as Freddie 'felt everyone and everything shiver and shift, falling into vividest
forms, detaching themselves from me and my conception of them and changing themselves instead into what they were, no longer figment, no longer mystery, no longer a part of my imagining' (p.