Archiv der Kategorie: Hawthorne, Nathaniel

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, a distinguished American novelist, was born at Salem, Mass., July 4, 1804. He was the grandson of Daniel Hawthorne, who was commander of a privateer in the Revolutionary War. His father, like many of the other male members of the family, was a follower of the sea, and died when the son was but four years old. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1825 with Longfellow. His first novel, Fanshawe, was published anonymously (1828), but proved a failure. … The first book to bring fame was a collection of short stories, called Twice-told Tales (1837). In 1850 The Scarlet Letter, the book which made his name most widely known, was given to the public. Quickly upon this followed The House of Seven Gables, The Wonder-Book, The Snow-Image, The Blithedale Romance, Tanglewood Tales and a continuation of The Wonder-Book (1853). He was known as one of the most brilliant contributors to the magazines of his day. In March, 1853, he was appointed consul to Liverpool by President Pierce, and remained until the close of 1857. He then spent a year in Italy, which inspired The Marble Faun (1858), returned to America, and published Our Old Home (1860), sketches of England. He died at Plymouth, N. H., May 19, 1864. Hawthorne is undoubtedly the greatest of American novelists.

The House Of The Seven Gables

The House Of The Seven Gables – Nathanie Hawthorne

This book, which the author himself preferred to his previous novel, is of quieter tone than “The Scarlet Letter.” It is more minutely elaborated, and its pathos depends more on the peculiar temperaments of its characters. The scene is laid in Salem, and the house, which much effort has been made to identify, corresponds in many points to an old dwelling formerly standing there, known as the Curwen House, and sometimes called “the old witch-house.” Some points in the story corresponding to the history of the Hawthornes were noted in the beginning of this sketch. The character of Clifford and the problem of his strange destiny, the mockery of fate, which, having adapted him so delicately to an existence of sensuous refinement, stripped him in his youth, at one brutal stroke, of everything fair in life, and threw him among the lowest and coarsest surroundings, is the great study of the book. Its pervading thought is the theory of inheritance, the repetition of an original type now and then down a family line, and the curse of wrong-doing, blasting innocent lives when wronger and wronged are dust. The characters of Hepzibah and Phoebe are beautiful types, strongly contrasted on the surface, but having at bottom an intimate kinship in moral uprightness and capacity for devotion. That of Judge Pyncheon also is exquisitely worked out in the subtle self-deception of the hypocrite,—no character being so great a favorite in fiction, and none so often badly drawn, as that of the hypocrite, because it looks so much more easy and uncomplicated than it is. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Marble Faun

The Marble Faun – Nathanie Hawthorne

“The Marble Faun ” was sketched in Italy and prepared for publication mainly in Redcar, England, in 1859-60. The Castle of Monte Beni, the ancestral home of Donatello, the human faun, stands for Villa Montanto, where the author made his home for a time in the summer of 1858 ; and the original of Hilda’s tower is described in the “French and Italian Note-Books,”, May 15, 1858. This romance, which is generally held to be somewhat inferior to the novels of American life, though in an entirely different setting, does not differ greatly from them, or from some of the best short stories, in the nature of its topic and the handling of its characters. Like them it has for its theme a subject of conscience, — the influence of the consciousness of sin and its penalty, in elevating the life of a soul. Donatello’s resemblance to the sculptured faun is typical of his spirit, unawakened, and looking neither before nor after, until his crime puts an end-forever to his joyous holiday existence, and remorse for it develops his intellect and his soul. Kenyon is a good type of a cultivated American, quietly enthusiastic, tolerant and not cynical, loving art and not despising America. Hilda is remarkable for the great moral strength united with her delicacy and sensibility. Her suffering on account of the crime of which she has been merely a witness is strongly contrasted with the attitude of Miriam, whose conscience needs to be brought to a full awakening even after participation in it; her free and strong nature having been bewildered in a maze of wrong, the one escape from which has offered itself in sudden temptation. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter – Nathanie Hawthorne

Like all of Hawthorne’s novels, “The Scarlet Letter” has but a slender plot and but few characters with an influence on the development of the story. Its great dramatic force depends entirely on the mental states of the actors and their relations to one another, —relations of conscience, — relations between wronged and wrongers. Its great burden is the weight of unacknowledged sin as seen in the remorse and cowardice and suffering of the Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale. Contrasted with his concealed agony is the constant confession, conveyed by the letter, which is forced upon Hester, and has a double effect, — a healthful one, working beneficently, and making her helpful and benevolent, tolerant and thoughtful ; and an unhealthful one, which by the great emphasis placed on her transgression, the keeping her forever under its ban and isolating her from her fellows, prepares her to break away from the long repression and lapse again into sin when she plans her flight. Roger Chillingworth is an embodiment of subtle and refined revenge. The most striking situation is perhaps “The Minister’s Vigil,” in chapter xii. The book, though corresponding in its tone and burden to some of the shorter stories, had a more startling and dramatic character, and a strangeness, which at once took hold of a larger public than any of those had attracted. Though imperfectly comprehended, and even misunderstood in some quarters, it was seen to have a new and unique quality; and Hawthorne’s reputation became national. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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