This essay argues that showing us what things are—and particularly what they cost—is an especial violation of The Golden Bowl. The Golden Bowl stages the fatal encounter between two curious subjects: a woman who wants to know and a bowl that wants to tell. Between them, they enact the central enigma of the realist novel: is the heroine curious because she wants to know or because everyone (including the reader) wants to know about her? How does the novel, by making a spectacle of its taciturn realist object, both feed and toy with the reader's curiosity? And what, for the heroine and for the reader, is the price of female curiosity?