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Monday, September 26, 2016

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne
photographic portrait, between 1860 and 1864
one negative : glass, wet collodion
author: Mathew Brady
Library of Congress
(source: wikimedia)
no copyright infringement intended

New Englander novelist (The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, The Marble Faun: Or, The Romance of Monte Beni - known also by its British title, Transformation) and short story writer (Twice-Told Tales, The Whole History of Grandfather's Chair, Mosses from an Old Manse); a Dark Romanticist inspired by the Puritan universe, focused on the inherent evil of humanity, creator of personages of deep psychological complexity; also wrote a biography of President Franklin Pierce (raising the inevitable question: how could one of the greatest American writers produce a biography of one of the worst US presidents? I found in Slate some explanations on that); for Henry James (who wrote about Hawthorne a short sketch having rather the form of a critical essay than of a biography) he has the importance of being the most beautiful and most eminent representative of a literature, a master of expression, the writer to whom his countrymen most confidently point when they wish to make a claim to have enriched the mother-tongue.

(A Life in Books)


(New England)



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