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Hawthorne's Short Stories Paperback – May 12, 1955

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Here are the best of Hawthorne's short stories. There are twenty-four of them -- not only the most familiar, but also many that are virtually unknown to the average reader. The selection was made by Professor Newton Arvin of Smith College, a recognized authority on Hawthorne and a distinguished literary critic as well. His fine introduction admirably interprets Hawthorne's mind and art.

About the Author

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1805-64) was an American novelist and short-story writer. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and graduated from Bowdoin College. His first novel, Fanshawe, was published anonymously in 1828, followed by several collections of short stories, including Twice-Told Tales and Mosses from an Old Manse. His later novels include The Scarlet Letter, The House of Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and The Marble Faun.

Newton Arvin (1900-63) was a literary critic and professor at Smith College known for his influential writings about nineteenth-century American literature. He is the author of biographies of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Walt Whitman, and his biography of Herman Melville won the National Book Award in 1951.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (May 12, 1955)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394700155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394700151
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,442,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In your face, obvious, and heavy-handedly allegorical, still Hawthorne manages to pique my interest and hammer home his point. Switching from historically based stories ("The Gray Champion" and "Endicott and the Red Cross") to spiritual allegories ("The Bosom Serpent" and "The Celestial Railroad"), Hawthorne continually chips away at the danger of isolation. Although he clearly believed in the fallibility and evil of the human heart--particularly pointing out the religious hypocrites--he also believed that one must continue to risk and be a part of the community. In stories such as "Young Goodman Brown" and "Wakefield", we see the gloom that comes over certain men who pull away.
Hawthorne, like Poe, uses graphic and surreal imagery, sometimes repetitively, to set a mood and draw a picture. His characters and scenes are alive and psychological consistent with his tales, and he manages to wring a moral out of nearly every page.
Heavy-handed? Yes, but he aims to state a message, and he states it clearly: The moral nature must never be sacrificed for intellectual pursuits (Ethan Brand). In a world of cheap commercialism and mindless brain fodder, at least Hawthorne has something to say.
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Format: Paperback
It's easy for our contemporaries to accuse Hawthorne of being formulaic or using timeworn themes. It must be remembered that in Hawthorne's own day, the many of the "timeworn" ideas represented a truly novel vision, and it was appropriate to use many different stories to convey its fullness. Just remember, if you think it's a "cliche," it's probably because you've read a lot of post-Hawthorne "wannabes"!
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By A Customer on March 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
Like most of us, Hawthorne was hot and cold. He is responsible for a few of the best American short stories, and a few of the very worst. But the bad ones - read "The Bosom Serpent" carefully, for example - are hilariously bad!
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Great books are forever inreresting!
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