I'm reading the James Wood book, and I'm not too far in, but I already see a reading that I think may be a little strained regarding the following line from Henry James' What Maisie Knew:
"Mrs. Wix was as safe as Clara Matilda, who was in heaven and yet, embarrassingly, also in Kensal Green, where they had been together to see her little huddled grave."
Wood says the word embarrassingly is there as an indicator of Maisie's feeling towards having to go to Kensal Green with Mrs. Wix, the experience of seeing an elder grieving. And yet there is an equally if not more likely explanation for the word choice, especially since embarrassingly is placed where it is and not, say, somewhere in the last clause--the embarrassingly I read as referring to the duality of the afterlife--one's soul is beautifully in heaven and embarrassingly moldering in a cemetery. The embarrassment is humanity's at not being able to vanish body and soul into Paradise. Kensal Green, as far as cemeteries go, is perfectly lovely, so I don't see anything that would suggest that a visit to the cemetery itself would be embarrassing, which would also be a fair reading. If embarrassingly truly described how Maisie felt about going to the cemetery with Ms. Wix, wouldn't the sentence read:
"Mrs. Wix was as safe as Clara Matilda, who was in heaven and yet also in Kensal Green, where, embarrassingly, they had been together to see her little huddled grave."
or somewhere in that final clause? Wood may not be wrong, but I think embarrassingly is placed too vaguely to be sure, and he puts quite a lot on the word considering that.
Am I wrong? If so, why?
No one cares, do they?