Boyle, Elizabeth A. "Current Bibliography." Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, vol. 41, no. 1, 2016, pp. 126-140.
Hawthorne, Nalthaniel. The Blithedale Romance. Edited by Michael J. Colacurcio and Luke Bresky, Broadview, 2015.
This edition includes an introduction from Colacurcio and Bresky that contains a detailed history of past and present readings of the novel. The appendices contain selected letters and historical writing by Hawthorne, a section on Universal Reform, context surrounding women's emancipation movements, and focus on the Fugitive Slave Law. Also included is a section on contemporary reviews from, 1852, a full works cited, and recommended reading.
Chapters in Books
Ostrowski, Carl. '"Branded with infamy': Discharged Convicts in Antebellum Crime Novels and The House of the Seven Gables. " Literature and Criminal justice in Antebellum America, edited by Carl Ostrowski, University of Massachusetts Press, 2016, pp. 124-149.
This chapter focuses on contextualizing the "period's penal reform movement," arguing that the novel "draws from numerous contemporary accounts of inmates attempting to find a place in the community after prolonged periods of incarceration" (124). It includes a historical section on penal reform movements, as well as a section devoted to "Discharged Convicts in Crime Fiction," juxtaposing Hawthorne's optimistic "attention to the subject of life after prison" with crime novels by Ned Buntline, George Thompson, and George Lippard (124), which suggested that "returning to society from the penitentiary would never be an uncomplicated transition" (136). Indeed, Ostrowski examines the historical problem of the prison and the "mark" it left on prisoners, "preventing their seamless reintegration into society," which "posed a broad challenge to reformer's hopes" (135). Ostrowski maintains that "focusing on Hawthorne's adaptation of narratives about incarceration and discharge offers an index for assessing the success of the novel's social critique" (146).
Robinson, M. Michelle. "The Art of Framing Lies." Dreams for Dead Bodies: Blackness, Labor, and the Corpus of American Detective Fiction. University of Michigan Press, 2016, pp. 62-94.
Robinson reads Edgar Allan Poe's "The Man That Was Used Up" (1839) and Hawthorne's "Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe" (1934) side by side to illuminate what she calls "grave inconsistencies at the core of the national ethos" (63). This ethos problematically mixed industry-dependence with the ideals of independence, among other tensions. For Robinson, both stories propose "narrative strategies" and work as "metadetective fictions" that don't merely "parade" the problems of their generation, but also "formulate and explore the limits and possibilities of a narrative device, backward construction, that would routinely appear" in twentieth-century detective fiction (63). Both, rather than depicting the crimes they purport to be based on, dramatize the "industry of storytelling" (84) and examine "racial formation in the world of production" (94). Using what Robinson calls "narrative retroversion," both Hawthorne and Poe lay the groundwork for new modes of American literary devices that would "like sinew to bone... reconstruct the past" (94).
Strongman, Luke. "Nathaniel Hawthorne's Hester Prynne." The Silver Conclave: Heroes, Heroines And Villains Of English Literature. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2016, pp. 49-52.
In this short chapter, Strongman provides a brief overview of Hester Prynne within the context of Hawthorne's authorial history, including A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls, and surveys common critical readings and educational uses of the novel. Strongman provides a brief Puritan history to contextualize Hester's position, and cites Cynthia Murillo, Brook Thomas, and Jamie Barlowe, among others, as a backdrop of critical analysis through which the character can be understood.
Essays in Collections
Hannah, Daniel. "(Un)Settling Desires: Erotics and Ecologies in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Transatlantic Romances." Transatlantic Literary Ecologies: Nature and Culture in the Nineteenth-century Anglophone Atlantic World, edited by John Miller and Kevin Hutchings, Taylor and Francis, 2016, pp. 124-138.
Hannah adopts an intersectional critical approach--using ecocritical, transatlantic, and queer lenses--to support his claim that Hawthorne's fiction, specifically The Scarlet Letter and The Marble Faun, "frame American experiences of space, place, and the nonhuman" (124). For Hannah, Hawthorne uses romance as a "medium for forgetting" transatlantic violence and colonialism while simultaneously giving life to "ambiguities" that make the American settlers foreigners in their new homes; as Hannah puts it, nature and land are not only settled in Hawthorne's texts, "they also unsettle" (125). Working within an uptick in transatlantic studies of Hawthorne's texts, he asserts that land in Hawthorne's work should be read as "indelibly traced by the genealogical routes of colonial desire" (136-7).
Baker, Jennifer J. "Hawthorne's Picturesque at Home and Abroad." Studies in Romanticism, vol. 55, no. 3, 2016, pp. 417-444.
In this essay, Baker argues that Hawthorne's use of the picturesque--especially his observations during the Civil War--become sites for exploring "the powers and limitations" of a specifically American rhetoric and writing of "social mobility and economic promise" (417). The article traces how Hawthorne's travel through the war-torn nation informed his evolving perspective on "American national definition," and finds that he struggled to fit American needs within "traditional picturesque conventions" (419). American cities and regions--full of scenes of poverty, labor, and war--altered the way Hawthorne thought of a distinctly American picturesque, and Baker focuses most on how his picturesque was more fractured than complete. Through his journey to uncover a distinctly American picturesque, Hawthorne explores theories of class; as Baker argues, Hawthorne uses the picturesque to explore the possibilities of social mobility available to certain groups, races, and regions. Ultimately, the article provides a convincing and well-paced exploration of Hawthorne's travel writing, especially his perspective on Southern slaves and prisoners; what he perceived to be possible for each region following the war; and how his "Old World picturesque" revealed what he felt to be the most impossible problem following the Civil War: national unity.
Bender, Geoff. "'I feel a giddy sickness of strange awe': Chillingworth, Cenci, and the Silent Pleasure of Pain." Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, vol. 42, no. 1, 2016, pp. 56-72.
This essay explores what Bender calls "textual echoes" between Hawthorne and Percy Bysshe Shelley's The Cenci, suggesting that such echoes can and do appear "in unpredictable places" (58). For Bender, the unpredictable place becomes The Scarlet Letter, which he explores as a text imbued with a sadomasochistic love that echoes Shelley's sexual and monstrous Cenci. Bender cites fellow scholars who have explored Cenci's echoes in "Rappacini's Daughter," The Marble Faun, and The Blithedale Romance, positioning his own work as one that seeks to extend such readings to The Scarlet Letter. Rather than reading Hester Prynne as the Beatrice character to Shelley's Cenci, however, Bender performs a queer reading of the relationship--one he calls "mutually pleasurable," "excruciating," and ultimately "sadomasochistic"--between Chillingworth and Dimmesdale (59-60). Indeed, the crux of Bender's argument resides in his reading of the two bachelors, but especially Chillingworth, as "plainly and enduringly queer" (63). Such an argument challenges the claim, via Foucault, that Bender suggests so many Hawthorne scholars take for granted; namely, that homosexuality--as a distinct identity rather than a series of disconnected acts--did not appear until 1870. In his reading of the conclusion, Bender finds Dimmesdale's public death the final ecstasy and sadomasochistic display of Dimmesdale's and Chillingworth's love.
Bergland, Renee. "A Damned Mob of Corinnes: Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Daughters of de Stael." Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, vol. 42, no. 1, 2016, pp. 95-119.
In this essay, Bergland urges scholars to consider Hawthorne from a female literary perspective, shifting the focus of the central questions Hawthorne scholars have previously explored in favor of tracing the extent to which Hawthorne might be read "within or outside of the female tradition" (96). Other scholars have established the influence of Germaine de Stael's Corinne in Hawthorne's four novels, but Bergland centers her essay around reading Hawthorne's letters, specifically those written between publication of The Blithedale Romance and The Marble Faun, to assert that Hawthorne continually grappled with anxiety and uncertainty about "whether--or how--he could be an author without becoming a Corinne" (98). As Bergland notes, Corinne inspired both female and male American authors in the nineteenth-century "to think of themselves as romantic geniuses" (105), and such an idea inspired these authors to believe there could be a grand artistic tradition beyond European borders. Bergland traces Hawthorne's vexed relationship to the role he might play in an American romantic tradition within the feminized novel genre of the late-nineteenth century--arguing most clearly that, for Hawthorne, "writing is feminizing," and that his undeniable literary obsession with Corinne was also, perhaps, a marker of his own transgressive identity and his attempts to make sense of his affinity for such a figure (116).
Boyden, Michael. "Outlandish Apocalyptics and Creaturely Life in Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'My Kinsman, Major Molineux.'" Studia Neophilologica, vol. 88, 2016, pp. 47-57.
Frank Kermode's "logic of apocalypse" provides the analytical framework for Boyden's reading of "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" (49). For Boyden, using a "broadened framework" to analyze Hawthorne's tale highlights the "problems of modern apocalyptics that are still with us today" (50). Kermode's model helps make sense of the double-logic in Hawthorne's tale, highlighting the dynamic between separation and self-alienation, and for Boyden, it illustrates "how this early tale was informed by the revolutionary turmoil that would transform the political structure of the Atlantic world in the 1830s" (51). Boyden's reading is a challenge to past "optimistic" readings (51), finding that "Robin's dilemma at the end of the story... is a false one. What horrifies Robin is not that Molineux represents a superseded old order, but that he is no different from his kinsmen" (55).
Cohen, Nili. "Love, Story, Law--From The Scarlet Letter to Freedom and Privacy." Law and Literature, vol. 28, no. 2, 2016, pp. 209-231.
Cohen uses Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter to contextualize a multitude of tensions within an Israeli Supreme Court Case in which a book was prohibited from publication based on laws concerning privacy and artistic freedom. For Cohen, both Hawthorne's novel and the Israeli case "reflect changing normative cultural and legal perceptions of the freedom to love, and of the powet to control the exposure of love in public" (209). Cohen believes that The Scarlet Letter "portrays a cultural and legal reality" in which "intimacy could be revealed only through court records and rulings, or through private domains" (219). While "personal freedom and artistic freedom are almost unimpeded" today, Cohen maintains, the problems and paradoxes of privacy and publication abound.
Cook, Jonathan A. "Hawthorne's Graveyard Humor: 'Chippings with a Chisel.'" Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, vol. 42, no. 2, 2016, pp. 36--53.
How were the dead commemorated in antebellum American culture? Cook explores Hawthorne's treatment of this question in a close reading of Hawthorne's lesser-known tale, "Chippings with a Chisel." For Cook, the tale is both "entertaining and instructive," and paints Hawthorne as a "graveyard humorist" who "gently satirizes" antebellum attitudes about death and dying through a "humorous adaptation of the sentimental and domestic ideologies" of his time (50). While much of antebellum sentimentalism held a "preoccupation with death," this particular sketch offers a humorous take on such obsessions, which were still "under the influence of grim Puritan ideas of death" (42), and Hawthorne [repeatedly illustrates] the era's sentimentalization and domestication of death" (38).
Curbet, Joan. "Incarnational poetics: embodiment and literary influence in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Stories from the Old Manse Period." Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, vol. 42, no. 1, 2016, pp. 37-55.
Starting with a quote from Sophia Peabody Hawthorne about the tension between the ideal and the physical, Curbet positions "the trope of incarnation or embodiment" as one central to Hawthorne's works that allowed him to both "negotiate" and "reframe" his own identity as an artist (37). For Curbet, Hawthorne inherits Spenser's and Milton's treatment of "incarnation, the projection of the soul into non-living matter" (39). But rather than asserting or positioning a clear distinction between the spiritual and the physical, Hawthorne continually troubles the relationship between the two. Curbet examines this "network of associations" between Spenserian, Miltonic, and Hawthornian treatments of the trope in four of Hawthorne's stories (40). That Hawthorne shares artistic affinities with Milton and Spenser suggests more than a preoccupation with the problem of embodiment--it also concerns the perceived dangers of iconoclasm, and here, Curbet distinguishes Hawthorne as more than a mere imitator. Hawthorne evinces what Curbet calls "double resistance," not only to regurgitating old textual and stylistic forms but also to "narrowly didactic reading" (52). Curbet concludes by suggesting that his influences ultimately motivated Hawthorne to become increasingly self-aware as an artist.
Durkin, Anita. "Hawthorne's English Material: The Civil War in Our Old Home" J19: The journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, vol. 4, no. 2, 2016, pp. 305-330.
While much critical attention has been paid to Hawthorne's war texts, "Chiefly about War Matters" and the Septimius Felton manuscript, Durkin suggests that Hawthorne's Our Old Home provides "insight into the complexities of [his] pro-peace leanings" during the Civil War (305). Durkin sets out to prove that Our Old Home is more than a "throwaway work"; instead, it is one that "ultimately critiques the too-rigid adherence to principle that Hawthorne reads in the 'patriotic' enthusiasm of his contemporaries" (305). Through close readings, Durkin suggests that Hawthorne "erects an uneven division of England/material versus American/ideal only to consistently question both the stability of that distinction and its philosophical underpinnings" (321
Forster, Sophia. "Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the Emergence of American Literary Realism." Studies in the Novel, vol. 48, no. 1, 2016, pp. 43-64.
Forster focuses primarily on Hedged In, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps' second novel, arguing that it--a novel Forster positions as a transitional work that illustrates the cultural movement from romance to realism--reveals Phelps' desire to gain status as a high-culture author and to embrace realism while rejecting "romance in both its more popular and its Hawthornian versions" (46). Forster reads Hedged In alongside The Scarlet Letter, attuned to the way Phelps seems to revise and "renovate" Hawthorne's famous novel to align herself with early realist, male authors. Such a move, Forster argues, illustrates "the potential gender-neutrality of the genre of early realism" (49).
Greven, David. "Incest and Intertextuality: Female Desire and Milton's Legacy in The House of the Seven Gables" ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, vol. 62, no. 1, 2016, pp. 39-76.
In this essay, David Greven examines what he calls the "queer and feminist ethics," as well as "desire's transgressive forms" (39) in The House of the Seven Gables. For Greven, the novel "depicts various strategies the abject devises for deriving pleasure despite a repressive social order" (39), and gains such strategies from the influence of John Milton's and other Romantic writers' preoccupation with "incestuous desire" (40). Greven finds that Hawthorne's use of "intertextual poetics" in The House of the Seven Gables provides a pathway for exploring "how female and queer desire might surface in a homophobic and misogynistic culture" (44). Ultimately, the novel analyzes the "gendered marketplace that isolates sexual desirability and normativity as prized commodities" (70).
Hadfield, Andrew, and Michael Jonik. '"With a Glance of Dark Meaning'; Or, Bloodstained Allegories in Spenser and Hawthorne." Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, vol. 42, no. 1, 2016, pp. 16-36.
This essay traces the influence of Spenser in Hawthorne's works, an influence Hadfield and Jonik claim has been overlooked in favor of a "tradition of reading Hawthorne in terms of the development of Puritan allegory" (17). The authors find that "Spenser's writing inflects Hawthorne's poetic sensibility or 'mode of seeing' in often striking ways," as both writers are "canny theorists of surfaces and veils, metamorphoses and masquerades," and "thus subtly explore the complex relationships between ideality and materiality" (18). Hadfield and Jonik look specifically to The Marble Faun, deeming it Hawthorne's "most Spenserian" (19) in its use of the trope of blood, which "foreground[s]... the physicality of acts of violence or transgression as simultaneously vague and indelibly written on the body" (21). Through this examination of Hawthorne's use of the trope, the authors suggest scholars might "rethink" Hawthorne's relationship to allegory and to "the correspondences between the visible, physical word and its representations, meanings, or cognitions and contagions" (33).
Hallock, Thomas. "'A' Is for Acronym: Teaching Hawthorne in a Performance-Based World." ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, vol. 62, no. 1, 2016, pp. 116-21.
In this short essay, Hallock describes the realities of a twenty-first-century classroom; in particular, he muses on performance-based "cost-benefit analysis" measurements (116), an ever-broadening emphasis on STEM fields, and the "timeless tension between day jobs and inspiration" (119). Hallock claims he has "faith in the ability of English majors to forge an individual path," but he admits, "we need metrics that consider the slower, less predictable work of reinvention" (120). By teaching The Scarlet Letter, Hallock explores with his students the questions that still go without answers in a performance-based world: "How do we quantify inspiration?" (120).
Holland, Owen. "Spectatorship and Entanglement in Thoreau, Hawthorne, Morris, and Wells." Utopian Studies, vol. 27, no. 1, 2016, pp. 28-52.
Drawing on Darwin's metaphor of entanglement, Holland undertakes a transatlantic project and resolves to "trace the extension and transformation of the metaphor of entanglement through the writings of Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Morris, and H.G. Wells, with a view to reassessing the nature of the connections that exist among these writers" (29). Of Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance, Holland analyzes Miles Coverdale, who "cannot quite bring himself to plunge wholeheartedly into the fictionalized utopian-socialist community at the eponymous Blithedale. He retteats... to a proto-Thoreauvian "little hermitage," his "one exclusive possession" that "symbolized [his] individuality," situated up among the "midmost branches of a white-pine tree" (33). Later in the novel, "Hawthorne extends the metaphor of entanglement... to encompass the all-too-human passions on which the Utopian community at Blithedale ultimately founders" (35).
Hoovestol, Calvin. "Secret Sins, Honest Hypocrites, and Secular Sermons: Hawthorne's Human Stain in Philip Roth's Twice-Told Tale." Philip Roth Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, 2016, pp. 33-52.
This article concerns what Hoovestol recognizes as "intertextual allusions" in Philip Roth that can be traced directly back to Hawthorne. For Hoovestol, Roth's The Human Stain (2000) recalls literary tropes from Hawthorne, particularly those concerning the human stain within every human soul. For Hoovestol, Hawthorne and Roth both emphasize three traits, around which the essay is organized: 1) that "secret sins" are found in every human soul, 2) "how even good people are guilty of self-delusional hypocrisy and self-righteous ethics," and, 3) that subtexts beneath the "secular sermons" of each author's works conjure a "mutual commandment: thou shalt not judge others, lest ye also be judged" (33). Such reanimation of Hawthorne's themes, for Hoovestol, "preserves and perpetuates Puritan cultural connotations, even as Roth critiques Puritanism" (34), and allows scholars to "reevaluate textured human strains that morph into identity and taint the unique stains of our storied lives" (50).
Johnson, Joel A. "Mosses, Manses, and Mores: Hawthorne on the Construction and Preservation of Political Institutions." American Political Thought, vol. 5, no. 2, 2016, pp. 277-302.
For Johnson, narrative fiction can aid in developing a deeper understanding of political institutions. Through an analysis of "The Old Manse," Johnson studies Hawthorne's institution-building strategies, arguing that Hawthorne is as much a political thinker as a literary master. Focusing on Hawthorne's imaginative tour through his Concord residence, Johnson notes that it leads Hawthorne to consideration of human institutions. Ultimately, Johnson claims that Hawthorne's powers of observation of institutions work as a guide for reconciling tensions between security and liberty, and leading to deepened layers of community.
Kopley, Richard. "John Neal on Hawthorne and Poe in the New England Galaxy of 1835." Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, vol. 42, no. 2, 2016, pp. 22-35.
This essay examines the early reception of Hawthorne and Poe by New England Galaxy editor, novelist, and critic John Neal, who Kopley characterizes as "bold, direct, and devoted to the growth of American literature" (22). Kopley suggests that Neal's criticisms and observations throughout Hawthorne's early career may have swayed publication decisions concerning "Young Goodman Brown," and offers "an early moment in the reputations of Hawthorne and Poe" (31). Such conversation in a circulating periodical, Kopley argues, "helped generate public opinion about their works" (32).
Milder, Robert. "Crimes and Punishments: Hawthorne and Dostoyevsky." Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory, vol. 72, no. 3, 2016, pp. 99-131.
This essay draws on the unexpected common ground between Hawthorne and Dostoyevsky, acknowledging not only shared themes of crime and punishment, but also preoccupations with the dangers of human psychology. As Milder puts it, psychology's "analysis of the mind with its layers of consciousness and unconscious motive and compulsion might come to seem sufficient in itself and undermine the work of the moralist" (99). Focusing on Crime and Punishment, The Scarlet Letter, and The Marble Faun, Milder reflects on both Hawthorne's and Dostoyevsky's strategies for mapping crime and moral law across conscious and unconscious terrain. Divided into seven subsections, the essay explores different dimensions of crime from motivation all the way to confession, ultimately concluding that, "the ramifications of crime have no terminus for either writer, not even in the wake of something mysteriously like grace" (128).
Murillo, Cynthia. "Nathaniel Hawthorne's Mary in 'Drowne's Wooden Image.'" Explicator, vol. 74, no. 2, 2016, pp. 133-135.
Murillos critical intervention rests on her claim that Hawthorne's "interest in Catholic imagery began much earlier" than most scholars have explored (133). Focusing on Hawthorne's earliest writing, Murillo finds that--especially in "Drowne's Wooden Image"--Hawthorne reveals a "preoccupation with the figure of Mary" (133). Her ultimate argument is that "Downe's Wooden Image," rather than deepening social fears surrounding Catholicism, actually tackles such fears head-on, and even revises the ruling narratives driven by readers' fears, offering "a possible source of agency" and even "a new way of seeing" (134) the religious tensions within their cultural moment.
Newberry, Frederick. "Early Hawthorne Forgotten." Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, vol. 42, no. 2, 2016, pp. 54-62.
According to Newberry "we think we know him," and yet when we consider his more obscure works--tales such as "My Visit to Niagara" and "The Lily's Quest"--a less familiar picture of Hawthorne appears (54, 55). This picture is one "more diverse in temperament and authorial enterprise than we can easily perceive in the stories and novels commonly printed" (55). Newberry argues that looking to Hawthorne's "lighter" tales "reveals some of the concerns and strategies of a Hawthorne we really don't know very well" (55). This Hawthorne is "a sunnier" Hawthorne than typically considered (61). Even those lighthearted moments in Hawthorne's darker works might be explained by consideration of his lighter tales--and "suggest that Hawthorne is not being inconsistent" when similar light or comical moments make their way into his canonized literature (62).
Reynolds, Larry J. "Transatlantic Visions and Revisions of Race: Hawthorne, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, and the Editing of Journal of an African Cruiser" Nathaniel Hawthorne Review vol. 42, no. 2, 2016, pp. 1-21.
In this essay, Reynolds examines the publication and revision history of Journal of an African Cruiser, finding that Hawthorne played a substantial role in the revised manuscript. He "ameliorated Bridge's racism, softened his callousness, and made him a more introspective and peace-loving author, much like Hawthorne himself (1). Hawthorne edited the book--along with Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the black Governor of Liberia--and this essay includes scanned images of marginalia and other revisions. Reynolds examines these and other collected insights from Bridge, Hawthorne, and Roberts to argue that "examination of Roberts' diplomatic critique of the Bridge-Hawthorne book provides a rare opportunity to see a transatlantic social text being created," and that such a process reveals "a self-taught American-African trying to educate two white Bowdoin College graduates living across the Atlantic" (2). Reynolds acknowledges that Hawthorne's collaboration with Bridge has been noted, but argues that the full extent of racial tensions and nineteenth-century race relations present in the text can only be understood through an examination of the revision history.
Stampone, Christopher. "Transatlantic Repurposing: The Castle of Otranto and the Construction of Puritan Allegory in The House of the Seven Gables" Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, vol. 42, no. 1, 2016, pp. 73-94.
Stampone opens with his intervention: acknowledging the many critical readings of The House of Seven Gables and Hawthorne's own definition of romance that has fueled much scholarship, he situates himself as one of the first scholars to "exhume" the many unacknowledged allusions to Walpole's Castle that haunt Hawthorne's novel. Stampone contends that the key difference between these two novels lies in one of their strongest affinities: while both texts deal with the future, Hawthorne's novel suggests that New England culture can only truly thrive once it abandons its "Gothic Puritan past" (75). Throughout his reading of House, Stampone notes where Hawthorne has both borrowed from and revised Walpole--especially noting what he calls a "brilliant inversion of the doubling trope," in which Hawthorne's Jaffrey Pyncheon "literally embodies the past" and departs from Walpole's formula to illustrate the "ways in which an evil history repeats itself" (79). For Stampone, Hawthorne relied on a British Gothic tale from the past in order to construct a new, "definitively American" future--inviting readers into a pastoral, Edenic paradise instead of a haunted castle trapped in the past (89).
Sweeney, Erin. "Boardinghouse Fiction and the American Family in the Boarding-House of the Seven Gables." J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, vol. 4, no. 2, 2016, pp. 331-57.
While scholars have worked to unpack the many tensions present in the "cent-shop" opening of the Pyncheon's mansion, Sweeney centers her critical attention on an earlier moment, in which Hepzibah rents a room to Holgrave, establishing the presence of a boardinghouse--what she calls "a more flexible and diverse possibility for 'family'"--in the novel (333). Sweeney proposes reading Seven Gables as part of the tradition of boardinghouse fiction, and weaves together three distinct literary approaches to analyzing Hawthorne in order to make her argument: 1) criticism that examines the relationship between the market and the literary sphere; 2) readings that explore the intersections of romance and racial politics; and 3) revisionary readings of the bourgeois family in Seven Gables. Sweeney also devotes time in her essay to the historical background of the Turner-Ingersoll House. In reading the much-theorized conclusion of the story, Sweeney suggests that Holgrave's boarder status imbues unrecognized depth to the tensions between "transience and permanence, publicity and privacy, and familiarity and strangeness" (354).
Ullen, Magnus. "Reading Literature Rhetorically in Education: Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Prison-Door' as an Exercise in Close Reading." Nordic Journal of English Studies, vol. 15, no. 2, 2016, pp. 142-58.
Though literature and rhetoric share a deeply connected history and are often viewed as importantly linked, Ullen claims they are rarely taught in conjunction but that "much would be gained if this gap between the practices of writing and reading could be overcome" (143). Through a close reading of the first chapter of The Scarlet Letter, Ullen posits a two-fold rationale for "taking a rhetorical approach to litetature": first, the opening up of theoretical complexities within the relationship between context and text, and, second, "rhetoric offers a set of conceptual tools for systematically exploring" the text (144). Ullen offers multiple benefits to this rhetorical approach to literature, among them helping students become aware of how language can be used and manipulated, a lack of "discriminating between different types of texts," and the potential usefulness of such an approach in "a second language learning environment" (157).
Urakova, Alexandra. "Hawthorne's Gifts: Re-reading Alice Doane's Appeal' and 'The Great Carbuncle' in The Token." The New England Quarterly, vol. 89, no. 4, 2016, pp. 587-613.
Urakova posits a new contextualization of Hawthorne's stories: "If the course of Hawthorne's publication history was culling his fugitive stories from old annuals for the purposes of bringing them together under his own name, I propose to recast these stories back from the 'morocco-covers' of The Token" (587). Her goal is to realign the tales and "put them alongside neighboring entries" in an effort to connect them back in a "broader generic and ideological framework" of Samuel Griswold Goodrich's gift books (587). Hawthorne's earliest tales "participated in a gift book economy," and Urakova argues that even while fitting the form, Hawthorne "nonetheless exposed a set of anxieties about a commodilied gift culture," because his tales suggested that "literature should provide an emotionally powerful aesthetic experience" (589). Even while Hawthorne maintained the "sentimental values dear" to the gift-book readership. Urakova argues that he "managed to distance his authorial self from them" (611). The two titular talcs become "gifts of a specific nature" that ultimately illustrate Hawthorne's vexed relationship to the concept of literature-as-gifts, in which literature not only gives readers "aesthetic bliss," but "disturbs and challenges. . . reader[s]" at the same time, teaching them that "literature is dangerous--but this warning is wrapped up in a gift package" (612).
Couch, Daniel. The Imperfect Form: Literary Fragments and Politics in the Early Republic. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 2016. Advisor: Christopher J. Looby
Cookson, Jennifer Colleen. Castle: Ideologies of Exclusion in American Domestic Space. Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2016. Advisor: Julie Carr.
Frohlich, Soren. Blood of a Nation: Politics. Medicine, and Pace in U.S. Literature, 1848-1900. Dissertation, University of California, San Diego, 2016. Advisor: Michael Davidson.
Griffis, Rachel B. Self-Improvement and the American Enlightenment in Catharine Maria Sedgwick and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Dissertation, Baylor University, 2016. Advisor: Joe B. Fulton.
Harrington, Matthew Paul. Competition in the Antebellum Marketplace: The American Renaissance and Literary Responses to Middle-class Masculinity across Regional Borders. Dissertation, Western Illinois University, 2016. Advisor: Timothy W. Helwig.
Keralis, Spencer D. C. Children of Wrath: Allegory, Violence, and the Mediation of Childhood in Antebellum America. Dissertation, New York University, 2016. Advisor: Patricia Crain.
Michael, Shellie Melnick. "How Cold an Arcadia Was This": Transcendentalist Communes in The Blithedale Romance and "Transcendental Wild Oats." Dissertation, Middle Tennessee University, 2016. Advisor: Alicia M. Renfroe.
Ryan, Ellen Hallstrom. "A Land of Picture": Novelized Art and Visual Literature in Cole, Cooper, and Hawthorne, 1826-1860. Dissertation, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2016. Advisor: Todd Downing.
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|Publication:||Nathaniel Hawthorne Review|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2017|
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