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  1. Hawthorne’s reception of Byron | SpringerLink
  2. Related books and articles
  3. Hawthorne, Grace Greenwood, and the Culture of Pedagogy
  4. The Solitude of Nathaniel Hawthorne

For here the highlights are two of American fiction's undisputed masterpieces. Nathaniel Hawthorne's ''The Scarlet Letter'' arrived in our literature as if in reply to Emerson's appeal in his ''American Scholar'' address for a new native literature not dependent on British models. Hawthorne's probing analysis of the Puritan temperament brought refreshing, rational skepticism to bear on an element of the American self-image long taken for granted. Herman Melville's ''Moby-Dick'' was a different kind of innovation.

A vast synthesis of drama, characterization, scene-painting, and philosophy, it was the first American novel to rival the ambitious fictions of Scott and Dickens and their continental-European counterparts. The series format remains classically simple.

There are no critical forewords , or afterwords - only a brief chronology of each author's life, an essay explaining the choice of texts, and minimal textual notes. Editor Millicent Bell has provided her Hawthorne volume with an elegantly compact, informative six-page chronology, that should serve as a model for subsequent series editors. The texts are those of the Centenary Edition of Hawthorne's works, based on his original manuscripts or the books' first editions. Hawthorne's first novel, ''Fanshawe'' , will find few contemporary readers.

It's a flaccid, sentimental romance about a student's intellectual agonies, frustrated romance, and early death. It's worth remembering largely for its collegiate setting, which was probably sketched from Hawthorne's memories of Bowdoin College. Hawthorne paid to have it published, and later bought up existing copies in order to destroy them.

It seems all the more amazing, therefore, that this feeble debut was followed by ''The Scarlet Letter'' Written years later - after family tragedies and burgeoning disillusionments had left their mark on Hawthorne - it is the most fully plotted and vivid of his books, and the profoundest exploration anywhere in his work of the ambiguities of sin and guilt, moral absolutism, and Christian forbearance.

Hawthorne’s reception of Byron | SpringerLink

The characters of Hester Prynne, her ''love-child'' Pearl , the self-torturing Dimmesdale, and the vengeful Chillingworth are allegorical personae, yet also boldly dramatic flesh-and-blood figures. It's a book whose greatness has never been questioned, and it made Hawthorne's reputation. As a priest, the framework of his order inevitably hemmed him in Furthermore, the laws contradicted the spirit of the Bible and God Himself! Consequently and logically, no laws can limit almighty God, 17 yet, they can and they did limit the stiff Puritan community.

When Hester repented her sin, according to the Bible, God made her sin as white as snow or wool Contrary to this, the Puritans made it scarlet and reminded the woman about it everywhere so that the punishment aimed at estranging the adulteress from society and her true self. Finally, in his book, Hawthorne proved that experiencing a moment of weakness could lead to personal growth and maturity. For example, to Dimmesdale the spiritual reality of a sinner became closer; he could identify with a sinner not only theoretically, but also in practice. First, the Pharisees criticized Jesus and his hungry disciples for picking some ears of corn from the cornfields during the Sabbath.

Finally, Jesus concluded that the Sabbath was made for people, not people for Sabbath. Thus, through plentiful examples, the author shakes the foundations of the Puritan movement and warns against simplistic verdicts. Through the lives of the main characters, the writer shows that things have meaning only in the broader context and the perspective of time proves to be an adequate arbitrator: at the end of the story the meaning of the letter might have changed from "Adulteress" into "Angel" and Hester becomes a symbol of humbleness and mercy for the local people; similarly, although Arthur Dimmesdale lives a life of a hypocrite, his experiences transform his heart, mind and spirit.

This tale was deeply rooted in the minds of the settlers and frontiers that came to conquer a new territory, the unknown. Mistress Hibbins is the clearest, yet despite numerous clues, commonly indulged case of the cooperation with the Devil. The woman ventures into the woods late at night to spend time with the Black Man and practice witchcraft. What is more, the tolerated sin of the witch confirms hypocrisy and hidden evil in Puritan society. She is a visible emblem of evil put in the sight of the public.

Yet these thoughts affected Hester Prynne less with hope than apprehension. She knew that her deed had been evil; she could have no faith, therefore, that its result would be good. Day after day she looked fearfully into the child's expanding nature, ever dreading to detect some dark and wild peculiarity that should correspond with the guiltiness to which she owed her being Hawthorne, , Because she is an outcast and does not belong to civilization or Puritan world, she finds her identity in nature. It [sunshine] will not flee from me; for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!

There was no other attribute that so much impressed her with a sense of new and untransmitted vigor in Pearl's nature, as this never-failing vivacity of spirits; she had not the disease of sadness, which almost all children, in these latter days, inherit, with the scrofula, from the troubles of their ancestors. Perhaps this too was a disease, and but the reflex of the wild energy with which Hester had fought against her sorrows, before Pearl's birth.

It was certainly a doubtful charm, imparting a hard, metallic lustre to the child's character Had they taken her from me, I would willingly have gone with thee into the forest, and signed my name in the Black Man's book too, and that with mine own blood! Paradoxically, the person who identified the source of evil was Pearl! Her intelligent observations and natural perception lead her to important discoveries about the character of people around her. Come away, or yonder old black man will catch you!

He hath got hold of the minister already. Come away, mother or he will catch you! The curious child often asked her mother questions about the nature of evil. During a forest walk she asked her mother to tell her a story about him: How he haunts this forest, and carries a book with him a big, heavy book, with iron clasps; and how this ugly Black Man offers his book and an iron pen to everybody that meets him here among the trees; and they are to write their names with their own blood; and then he sets his mark on their bosoms.

Didst thou ever meet the Black Man, mother? Hawthorne, , Another alternative of embodiment of evil appeared because the image led Pearl to believe that also her father, Arthur Dimmesdale, was the Black Man. Thou canst see him now, through the trees. It is the minister! Is it because, when the minister wrote his name in the book, the Black Man set his mark in that place? But why does he not wear it outside his bosom, as thou dost, mother? Where does she come from? As the unnatural physical features characterize both hypocritical Dimmesdale and merciless Chillingworth, the author also emphasizes the inhabitance of the internal devils in the two men and the Puritan society.

Contrary to the popular belief, the devils were not to be found in the natural boundless place like the forest, but in the man-made community, the city of Boston, with a hierarchical order and inflexible codes. There, outcasts are denied the right to be real selves; only in the natural environment, in the woods, can Hester and Dimmesdale behave without restraints and speak straightforwardly.

O exquisite relief!

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She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom! By another impulse, she took off the formal cap that confined her hair, and down it fell upon her shoulders, dark and rich, with at once a shadow and a light in its abundance, and imparting the charm of softness to her features. There played around her mouth, and beamed out of her eyes, a radiant and tender smile, that seemed gushing from the very heart of womanhood. A crimson flush was glowing on her cheek, that had been long so pale. Her sex, her youth, and the whole richness of her beauty, came back from what men call the irrevocable past, and clustered themselves with her maiden hope, and a happiness before unknown, within the magic circle of this hour Yet, rejected and sentenced Hester refuses to leave the place and liberate herself from the badge of shame because she does not want to affirm the power of society over her.

Instead of death she is sentenced only to stand for three hours on the platform and to wear the scarlet letter On the other hand, the narrator notices that the good just and virtuous men who sit on the balcony and ask her personal questions as she is standing on the scaffold, are not capable of showing real sympathy: They were, doubtless, good men, just and sage. But, out of the whole human family, it would not have been easy to select the same number of wise and virtuous persons, who should be less capable of sitting in judgment on an erring woman's heart, and disentangling its mesh of good and evil, than the sages of rigid aspect towards whom Hester Prynne now turned her face.

She seemed conscious, indeed, that whatever sympathy she might expect lay in the larger and warmer heart of the multitude; for, as she lifted her eyes towards the balcony, the unhappy woman grew pale, and trembled It might be that an Antinomian, a Quaker, or other heterodox religionist, was to be scourged out of the town, or an idle or vagrant Indian, whom the white man's firewater had made riotous about the streets, was to be driven with stripes into the shadow of the forest. It might be, too, that a witch, like old Mistress Hibbins, the bitter-tempered widow of the magistrate, was to die upon the gallows The numerous paradoxes seem to be the most objective evaluators of the nature of evil disclosed by Hawthorne: the unfettered practice of witchcraft by Mistress Hibbins, but never condemned publicly; the evil seed and a curse, Pearl, that grew to be the guardian angel and a blessing.

Their growth and prosperity followed a powerful battle against wilderness, harsh conditions, illnesses and other adversities. From then on, they could worship their God freely and started to build a new society. The Queen or King would not be the head of their church anymore; Jesus would become their only Master and their law would be based on the Biblical one.

However, just from the beginning something went wrong: the created rules and regulations started to limit the Puritans and sometimes became more important than people themselves, and what is more, the leaders started to use the laws for their personal profits or revenges. The strict law ordered to kill adulterers, thieves or witches, despite their age.

Nevertheless, the most significant incident of the Puritan history was the witch hunting in Salem Village and the neighboring towns. Although the number of the sentenced people was hundreds times smaller than in Europe, the shame and motifs of the trials were terrifying; learned people, ministers and ordinary believers were trapped in mass-hysteria, vengeance and unreasonable hatred. He uses a topic popular with many writers, a story of two lovers or adulterers, as Puritans would call them.

They commit adultery in a moment of weakness and become paramours. The plot of the book is built up around this event. Thus, the author thoroughly studies the meaning of the sin of adultery, an offence that goes against morality and God. Next, as America tries to define its identity, Hawthorne ponders upon its heritage, Puritan legacy but also explores deeply the human condition in general and American distinctiveness from Puritan times to his own. Although the American Dream exists, the boundless possibilities are no longer available.

If after two centuries of infamous history the American towns for example, Salem are capable of blind persecutions for example, Unitarians or Quakers , idle speculations and lynches of innocent people for example, the Knapp and Crowninshield brothers the future of the country is uncertain. The nation may become materialistic, proud, insensitive and susceptible to manipulation, the threats that became reality in the 20th and 21st centuries. Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, Calef, Robert.

More Wonders of The Invisible World Coale, Samuel. Mesmerism and Hawthorne: Mediums of American Romance. Cotton, John. Letter to Lord Say and Seal, Puritanism On the Web. Emerson, Everett. Puritanism in America, Boston: Twayne Publishers, pp. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The House of the Seven Gables. New York and Boston: Books, Inc ?

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  • Henneton, Lauric. Johnson, Durst Claudia and Vernon E. Westport, Connecticut, London: Greenwood Press, Karlsen, Carol F. New York: Norton, pp. Mather, Increase. Boston, June 10, Mattes, Darya. June 8, Moore, Margaret. June Moran, Gerald. Richard Greaves. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, Ray, C. Teaching the Salem Witch Trials. Anne Kelly Knowles. Ruland, Richard, and Bradbury, Malcolm. Saxton, Martha. Puritan Wives. October Facsimile edition, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Thomas D. The Connecticut Blue Laws. The Covenant of the First Church of Boston The Enlarged Salem Covenant of Anne Hutchinson at the Court at Newton, The Massachusetts Body of Liberties Hanover Historical Texts Project August The Mayflower Compact of Whintrop, John.

    A Modell of Christian Charity Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. June 21, Willard, Samuel. Some Miscellany Observations. Printed by William Bradford, for Hezekiah Usher, Yost, M. Now tell us the Truth in this Matter. I: Which of you have seen this Man hurt you? I: Hath he hurt you too? Her answer was prevented by a Fit. I: Benjamin Gold, Hath he hurt you?

    Gold: I have seen him several Times, and been hurt after it, but cannot affirm that it was he. I: Hath he brought the Book to any of you? Mary Wolcott and Abigail Williams and others affirmed he had brought the Book to them. I: Giles Corey, they accuse you, or your Appearance, of hurting them, and bringing the Book to them. What do you say? Why do you hurt them? Tell us the Truth. C: I never did hurt them. I: It is your Appearance hurts them, they charge you; tell us. What have you done? C: I have done nothing to damage them. C: I never did.

    I: What Temptations have you had? C: I never had Temptations in my Life. I: What! Goodwife Bibber: What was the Reason that you were frighted in the Cow-house? And then the questionist was suddenly seized with a violent Fit. Samuel Braybrook, Goodman Bibber, and his Daughter, testified that he had told them this Morning that he was frighted in the Cow-house.

    Corey denied it.

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    I: This was not your Appearance but your Person, and you told them so this Morning. Why do you deny it? I: What did you see in the Cow-house? C: I never saw nothing but my Cattle. Divers witnessed that he told them he was frighted. I: Well, what do you say to these Witnesses? C: I do not know that ever I spoke the word in my Life. I: Tell the Truth. What was it frighted you? C: I do not know any Thing that frighted me. All the Afflicted were seized now with Fits, and troubled with Pinches.

    Then the Court ordered his Hands to be tied. Is it not enough to act Witchcraft at other Times, but must you do it now in Face of Authority? C: I am a poor Creature and cannot help it. I: Why do you tell such wicked Lies against Witnesses, that heard you speak after this Manner, this very Morning? C: I never saw anything but a black Hog. I: You said that you were stopped once in Prayer; what stopt you? C: I cannot tell. My Wife came towards me and found Fault with me for saying living to God and dying to Sin. I: What was it frighted you in the Barn? C: I know nothing frighted me there.

    I: Why there are three Witnesses that heard you say so to-day. C: I do not remember it. Thomas Gold testified that he heard him say, that he knew enough against his Wife, that would do her Business. I: What was that you knew against your Wife? C: Why, that of living to God, and dying to Sin. The Marshal and Bibber's Daughter confirmed the same; that he said he could say that that would do his Wife's Business.

    C: I have said what I can say to that. I: What was that about your Ox? C: I thought he was hipt. I: What Ointment was that your Wife had when she was seized. You said it was Ointment she made by Major Gidney's Direction. I: You said you knew upon your own Knowledge, that she had it of Major Gidney. He denied it I: Did you not say, when you went to the Ferry with your Wife, you would not go over to Boston now, for you should come yourself next Week?

    C: I: would not go over because I had not Money. The Marshal testified he said as before.

    One of his hands was let go, and several were afflicted. He drew in his Cheeks, and the Cheeks of some of the Afflicted were suckt in. John Bibber and his Wife gave in Testimony concerning some Temptations he had to make away with himself I: How doth this agree with what you said, that you had no Temptations? C: I meant Temptations to Witchcraft. I: If you can give way to self murder, that will make way to Temptation to Witchcraft.


    Other vile Expressions testified to in open Court by several others. Salem Village, April 19, Samuel Parris being desired to take in Writing the Examination of Giles Corey, delivered it in; and upon hearing the same, and seeing what we did see at the Time of his Examination, together with the Charge of the afflicted Persons against him, we committed him to their Majesties Gaol.

    Related Papers. By Tihomir Zivic. By ad fola. By Lulu Fahkrunisa. By Farhana haque. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Need an account? Still, as the Calvinist said after he'd fallen down the stairs, at least that's over. View all 4 comments. In both novels Hawthorne makes full use of his settings with a strong, tactile sense of place, though the latter's, fittingly, is not claustrophobic as is the former's.

    I felt as if I were back in Rome, that without realizing it I'd followed the footsteps of the four main characters through the city, including a visit to catacombs and a nighttime walk past the Colosseum they, however, were a 3. I felt as if I were back in Rome, that without realizing it I'd followed the footsteps of the four main characters through the city, including a visit to catacombs and a nighttime walk past the Colosseum they, however, were allowed inside it at night.

    From the first, though, I was struck by how different the two are in style and tone, and was even prepared for The Marble Faun to be the better book. Yet, there was much to hold my interest and to tease out: the expatriate art community in relation to the locals; what each of the four characters might represent morally and philosophically; the idea of National art; the nature of Sin; the long, complicated political history of Italy; and the perhaps inevitable mingling of Nature with existing Art. At the start of the last chapter Hawthorne admits he has lost some threads of his plot and begs the reader not to pull on them, as doing so would not allow us to see the forest for the trees he doesn't mix his metaphors; the latter is mine.

    I was fine with all of the not-knowing except for the aforementioned secret. Hawthorne hints at political intrigue, but without further illumination the beginning, in retrospect, loses much of its power. Happy Mardi Gras, y'all. View all 12 comments. Shelves: fiction , own. Miriam is an artist, half Italian half English, with a dark, molten, Hebraic beauty.

    Donatello is the faun, an aristocrat in love with Miriam, made stupid and pathetic by Hawthorne because of his animalistic Italianness. Kenyon is an American sculptor, haplessly in love with the innocent, virginal Hilda literally a Puritan , who lives in a tower dovecote and dresses only in white, irksomely "purify[ing] the objects of her regard by the mere act of turning such spotless eyes upon them. Inspired by a look in Miriam's eyes, Donatello commits a crime trying to protect her - a crime so horrifying it sends the Puritan Hilda to a Catholic confessional to unload the guilt she feels even being associated with Miriam.

    With Hawthorne the writing is stiff, stilted, weighted down with flowery encrustations. A stream can't just be a stream; it has to be "this shy rivulet. See The Monastery. I can't help thinking writing in the New World ought to be cleaner and sparer than in the Old, but so far my experience reading the 19th century has been the opposite.

    Feb 14, Donna rated it really liked it Shelves: 18thth-century-novel , classic-books , books. I loved this slow summer sojourn — a classic novel that unfolded gradually and beautifully. The Marble Faun is full of rich, atmospheric description that transports the reader instantly into the streets, the churches, the galleries, and the classical architecture of 19th-century Rome.

    Hawthorne is a masterful writer indeed. What could be more wholly Italian than a full paragraph devoted to a single sip of wine? There was a deliciousness in it that eluded analysis, and — like whatever else is superlatively good — was perhaps better appreciated in the memory than by present consciousness.

    We are first introduced to three American expatriates — Miriam, a painter; Hilda, who has a special talent for copying the masters; and Kenyon, a skilled sculptor. We fancy that we carve it out; but its ultimate shape is prior to all our action. It is as though, God-like, he created them from the air, breathed life into them, and then observed how they would react in times of despair, times of celebration, times of pensiveness, and times of love. And then he described them to us.

    Throughout the story, he expertly weaves in social critique — almost lost in the narrative, yet it is the foundation upon which the tale is told. Ultimately, The Marble Faun is an allegory of the fall of Man, beautifully written and effectively conveyed. Did Adam fall, that we might ultimately rise to a far loftier paradise than his?

    Clearly this book made quite an impact. Highly recommended. Jan 10, Nimue Brown rated it really liked it. That can be a touch frustrating. It made me want to know how modern Rome compares to this description of it, though. Not knowing the politics of the time is also a disadvantage. This is a very interesting jam on the tension between urban decay and rural renewal that authors like Thomas Hardy would later come to obsess about. I was acutely aware that no modern author would be allowed to write like this.

    Editors would rip out the long reflections on the state of art and sculpture, the passive sections, and would demand a faster paced plot, and more explanations. You could not get a book like this published any more, and in many ways we are the poorer for that development. If you are willing to slow down, not have wild drama from the first page, take on some understated romance and mysteries that will never be laid bare for you, read this, because it is a beautiful book and it will reward you.

    Shelves: read-in In middle school you were probably assigned some kind of descriptive composition. You know, the kind where you pick a Classroom Object -- a pencil, a wad of gum, your English teacher's unconvincing toupee -- and you write about it for a couple hundred words, sparing no meticulous detail. You turn the composition in to your teacher, who underlines words that could be even more thoroughly expounded. Maybe you are told you need to incorporate all five senses: How does this Object smell?

    Hawthorne, Grace Greenwood, and the Culture of Pedagogy

    Eventually you exhaust every angle from which your object can be described. You have written a perfect descriptive composition. But now what? Do you toss your hard work into the waste can? Do you let its corners yellow at the bottom of some desk drawer? Of course not! You turn your description into a novel! You travel to Italy, where you tour the country's bevy of cathedrals and chapels, and you write about these edifices and each of the artworks contained therein as fastidiously as you had described your Classroom Object.

    When you've finished about two hundred and fifty of these, you lay them out as paragraphs. Between every two or three of these you add a paragraph about a person, maybe a handful of people, and you give the whole project a sense of unity by linking the descriptions to the characters and the characters to a murder.

    Then Buona fortuna! You have a classic novel, the kind that will be canonized and read for centuries to come. Why not? It worked for Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Marble Faun : An excellent hundred-page story shackled by two-hundred and fifty pages of amateur artistic criticism and tiring and tedious descriptions. View 2 comments. Jan 02, Ellie rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , short-story , american , books. What can I say? I love Hawthorne. Ellie NYC. View all 5 comments. Nov 10, BAM The Bibliomaniac rated it liked it Shelves: nook , classic-literature , books-to-read-before-death , own , e-book.

    Catching up with the classics 15 3. Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family lived for several years in Italy, and his experiences there inspired him to write The Marble Faun, or the Romance of Monte Beni. Published in , it became his best selling novel, but few readers today have ever heard of it, much less read it. The book opens in 19th century Rome, where a group of friends, three American artistic types and one Italian, are enjoying an idyllic summer in each other's company. Donatello is a young Italian count, who very much res Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family lived for several years in Italy, and his experiences there inspired him to write The Marble Faun, or the Romance of Monte Beni.

    Donatello is a young Italian count, who very much resembles Praxiteles' faun statue, and he falls hard for the enigmatic Miriam, who harbors an unhappy secret. The sculptor, Kenyon, loves Hilda, an ethereal copyist who, like a medieval princess, resides in an ancient tower, where she keeps the light burning at the Virgin's shrine, surrounded by doves. One beautiful evening, a very personal murder occurs, and the foursome's idyll is shattered.

    They separate, each one grappling with the sense of guilt that destroys their happiness and their innocence. As the title suggests, The Marble Faun is a romance, but, typical of Hawthorne, a dark and brooding one. Being a product of his times and his religious upbringing, Hawthorne could resist inserting a tedious amount of philosophical contemplation, perhaps to highlight the moral symbolism that permeates the story. More pleasing is the time he devoted to describing the landscapes, monuments, art, and street life of Rome and the Tuscan countryside. There are even a few magical elements as well, such as the wine that is made on Donatello's estate that cannot fail to impart happiness to the drinker.

    While this region has undoubtedly changed since Hawthorne's tour, nearly everything that he referred to remains to be viewed to this day. The Marble Faun demands patience from its readers, but take it slowly I needed the entire summer! But be forewarned: the friends are reunited at book's end, and the final chapter is bittersweet.

    Zounds, what a boring book! And I usually like Hawthorne, but Perhaps only a brilliant writer could craft a novel this dull and unsatisfying. All the intriguing aspects of the story are left unexplained in the end except in a silly post Zounds, what a boring book! All the intriguing aspects of the story are left unexplained in the end except in a silly postscript , and the intended moral of the story is altogether mixed-up and confusing.

    Which is better? Blind, care-free innocence, or hard-earned knowledge and experience culled from dealing with adversity and sin? Spoiler Alert: Hawthorne apparently doesn't know either. Other technical aspects of the book are just as shoddy: none of the dialog in the novel seems even remotely authentic, and the female characters change from being independent and ambitious to helpless and overly-dependent seemingly at the drop of a hat. Of course, Hawthorne attempts to give us some justification for this, but none of it really makes sense. In the end, there is nothing in this novel really worth latching onto.

    Is Donatello actually an honest-to-God faun, or does he merely bear a striking resemblance to one?

    The Solitude of Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Sorry, Hawthorne, but either way, the idea sucks. Actually, there are some really good insights scattered throughout this tome, but God help you if you intend to try to sort them out from among the endless descriptions of Italian architecture and the many passages in which characters seem to be intentionally trying to prevent their own happiness by behaving in the stupidest ways imaginable.

    This is the kind of book that, if someone were forced to read it in high school, would probably put them off reading forever. Jan 21, Karen rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , 19th-century-american. I actually read this back in college, and loved it then. I still really like it, and enjoyed rereading it and following the mysteries of Miriam's and Donatello's pasts.

    This time, I was on a deadline and was not able to appreciate the long descriptive passages as I did the first time. It takes some imagination, but you can really begin to share the mindset of someone for whom reading was far more of a gateway to foreign places than it is today. It was something of a shock to see how anti-Catholi I actually read this back in college, and loved it then.

    It was something of a shock to see how anti-Catholic Hawthorne was, but, because I can remember hearing people expressing similar feelings in my own lifetime, I'm not sure why I was surprised. Hawthorne's characters are always in service of his ideas, and I'm struck now by how character types recur in his fiction, but it's always gripping, and his insights into human nature are amazing.

    I see why two of my 20th century favorites--Faulkner and O'Connor--found him so compelling.