"Masterpiece Theater: The Politics of Hawthorne's Literary Reputation"
by Jane Tompkins
from Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction, 1790-1860, pp. 3-39.
Scanned by Alex Lesman, The University of Virginia, 11/13/95
|Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia in Zeffirelli's Hamlet (1990)|
|W. G. Simmonds's The Drowning of Ophelia (1910)|
JANE PARRY TOMPKINS was born in 1940 in New York City, and was educated at Bryn Mawr College and at Yale University. She taught at Connecticut College and Greater Hartford Community College before moving to Temple University at Philadelphia in 1970, where she became a full professor in 1982. She is editor of Twentieth Century Interpretations of "The Turn of the Screw" (1970) and of Reader Response Criticism: From Formalism to Post- Structuralism (1980). In her first major book, Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction (1985), from which the current selection is taken, Tompkins combined a feminist approach with cultural criticism and reader-response theory. Her most recent work is West of Everything: The Inner Life of the Westerns (1992). Tompkins is currently a professor of English at Duke University.
THE CLASSIC DEFINITION of a classic, as a work that has withstood the test of time, was formulated by Samuel Johnson in his Preface to Shakespeare. Where productions of genius are concerned, wrote Johnson, "of which the excellence is not absolute and definite, but gradual and comparative . . . no other test can be applied than length of duration and continuance of esteem." Once a great author has outlived his century, he continues, "whatever advantages he might once derive from personal allusions, local customs, or temporary opinions, have for many years been lost.... The effects of favor and competition are at an end; the tradition of his friendships and his enmities has perished; his works . . ., thus unassisted by interest or passion, . . . have past through variations of taste and changes of manners, and, as they devolved from one generation to another, have received new honors at every transmission."1 The notion that literary greatness consists in the power of a work to transcend historical circumstance repeats itself in the nineteenth century, particularly in the work of Arnold and Shelley, and has been a commonplace of twentieth-century criticism.2 T. S. Eliot and Frank Kermode, for instance, take it for granted that a classic does not depend for its appeal on any particular historical context and devote themselves to defining the criteria we should use to determine which works are classic, or to describing the characteristics of works already designated as such.3 I propose here to question the accepted view that a classic work does not depend for its status on the circumstances in which it is read and will argue exactly the reverse: that a literary classic is a product of all those circumstances of which it has traditionally been supposed to be independent. My purpose is not to depreciate classic works but to reveal their mutability. In essence what I will be asserting is that the status of literary masterpieces is owing to arguments just like the one I am making here and that therefore the canon not only can but will change along with the circumstances within which critics argue.
I have chosen as a case in point the literary reputation of Nathaniel Hawthorne, a reputation so luminous and enduring that it would seem to defy the suggestion that it was based on anything other than the essential greatness of his novels and stories. Indeed, that assumption is so powerful that what follows may at times sound like a conspiracy theory of the way literary classics are made. As Hawthorne's success comes to seem, in my account, more and more dependent on the influence of his friends and associates, and then on the influence of their successors, it may appear that this description of the politics of Hawthorne's rise to prominence is being opposed, implicitly, to an ideal scenario in which the emergence of a classic author has nothing to do with power relations. But to see an account of the political and social processes by which a classic author is put in place as the account of a conspiracy is only possible if one assumes that classic status could be achieved independently of any political and social process whatsoever. The argument that follows is not critical of the way literary reputations come into being, or of Hawthorne's reputation in particular. Its object, rather, is to suggest that a literary reputation could never be anything but a political matter. My assumption is not that "interest and passion" should be eliminated from literary evaluation-this is neither possible nor desirable- but that works that have attained the status of classic, and are therefore believed to embody universal values, are in fact embodying only the interests of whatever parties or factions are responsible for maintaining them in their preeminent position. Identifying the partisan processes that lead to the establishment of a classic author is not to revoke his or her claim to greatness, but simply to point out that that claim is open to challenge from other quarters, by other groups, representing equally partisan interests. It is to point out that the literary works that now make up the canon do so because the groups that have an investment in them are culturally the most influential. And finally, it is to suggest in particular that the casualties of Hawthorne's literary reputation-the writers who, by virtue of the same processes that led to his ascendancy, are now forgotten- need not remain forever obliterated by his success.
To question the standard definition of the classic, and thus the canon as it is presently constituted, is also to question the way of thinking about literature on which the canon is based. For the idea of the classic is virtually inseparable from the idea of literature itself. The following attempt to describe the man-made, historically produced nature of a single author's reputation, therefore, is likely to arouse a host of objections because it challenges, all at once, an entire range of assumptions on which literary criticism has traditionally operated. The strength of these assumptions does not stem from their being grounded in the truth about literature, however, but from the pervasiveness of one particular mode of constructing literature-namely, the one that assigns to literary greatness an ahistorical, transcendental ground. The overwhelming force of this conception lies in its seeming to have arisen not from any particular school of criticism or collection of interests, but naturally and inevitably, as a way of accounting for the ability of certain literary works to command the attention of educated readers generation after generation. That this theory is neither natural nor inevitable it will be the purpose of this chapter to show. "The effects of favor and competition," "the tradition of friendships," the "advantages" of "local customs," and "temporary opinions," far from being the irrelevant factors that Johnson considered them, are what originally created and subsequently sustained Hawthorne's reputation as a classic author. Hawthorne's work, from the very beginning, emerged into visibility, and was ignored or acclaimed, as a function of the circumstances in which it was read.
... (In the next section, omitted here, Tompkins discusses how Hawthorne came to be championed by the New England intelligentsia, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.)
II. Once Hawthorne's tales had been called to their attention, nineteenth century critics singled out not what we now consider his great short stories--"The Minister's Black Veil," "Young Goodman Brown," "The Maypole of Merrymount"--but sketches now considered peripheral and thin. Their favorites, with virtually no exceptions, were "A Rill from the Town Pump," "Sunday at Home," "Sights from a Steeple," and "Little Annie's Ramble." Not only did these critics devote their attention almost exclusively to sketches that moralize on domestic topics and fail to appreciate what we now consider classic examples of the American short story, they "overlooked" completely those qualities in Hawthorne's writing that twentieth-century critics have consistently admired: his symbolic complexity, psychological depth, moral subtlety, and density of composition. Instead what almost every critic who wrote on Hawthorne's tales in the 1830s found particularly impressive were his combination of "sunshine" and "shadow," the transparency of his style, and his ability to invest the common elements of life with spiritual significance.12
It is these qualities that made Hawthorne a critical success among literary men in the 1830s and 40s, and it is on this foundation that his reputation as a classic author was built. Even the laudatory reviews by Poe and Melville, which critics take as proof of their "discernment" because in certain passages they seem to anticipate modem views, arise out of tastes and sympathies that are in many respects foreign to present-day critical concerns. In a headnote to Poe's second review of Twice- Told Tales, Richard Wilbur, for example, comments, "Poe proves his discernment by recognizing the merits of his contemporary."13 But while Poe's reviews seem to confirm modem assessments of Hawthorne by pointing to his "invention, creation, imagination, originality," the chief merit Poe recognizes in Hawthorne's tales is one that few modern commentators have seen: their repose. "A painter," Poe writes, "would at once note their leading or predominant feature, and style it repose.... We are soothed as we read."14 Hawthorne's current status as a major writer rests on exactly the opposite claim, namely that his vision is dark and troubled, the very reverse of that "hearty, genial, but still Indian-summer sunshine of his Wakefields and Little Annie's Rambles" which Poe admires so much and contrasts favorably to the "mysticism" of "Young Goodman Brown" which he wishes Hawthorne would rid himself of. "He has done well as a mystic. But . . . Iet him mend his pen, get a bottle of visible ink, come out from the Old Manse, cut Mr. Alcott, hang (if possible) the editor of the Dial, and throw out of the window to the pigs all his odd numbers of the 'North American Review.'" 15
Melville's wonderful encomium of Hawthorne in the Literary World, which sees Hawthorne's works as "deeper than the plummet of the mere critic," characterized above all by their "blackness," and possessed of a vision of truth as "terrific" and as "madness to utter," comes much closer to modern criticism of Hawthorne (which quotes from it tirelessly) than Poe's reviews do.8 But Melville's response to Hawthorne's "blackness" is not proof that he saw Hawthorne's tales as they really are, but rather proof of Melville's own preoccupation with the problem of innate depravity and original sin. What modern critics take as evidence of Melville's critical penetration-e.g., his admiration of Hawthorne's "blackness"-testifies rather to their own propensity for projecting onto what is actually a latter-day Calvinist vocabulary, their mid-twentieth-century conviction that a "tragic vision," elaborated chiefly in psychological terms, constitutes literary maturity. While Melville's reading of Hawthorne resembles modern interpretations in some respects, many of his critical observations-his pronouncements on "genius," his constant comparison of Hawthorne to natural phenomena (e.g., "the smell of young beeches and hemlocks is upon him; your own broad prairies are in his soul"), his emphasis on the "repose" of Hawthorne's intellect, on his "Indian summer . . . softness," on the "spell" of "this wizard"-testify to Melville's participation in the same romantic theories of art that dominate the mainstream reviews.17
It becomes clear upon examining these contemporary evaluations of Hawthorne's work that the texts on which his claim to classic status rested were not the same texts we read today in two senses. In the first and relatively trivial sense, they were not the same because the stories that made Hawthorne great in the eyes of his contemporaries were literally not the ones we read today-i.e., nineteenth-century critics preferred "Little Annie's Ramble" to "Young Goodman Brown." In the second and more important sense, they were not the same because even texts bearing the same title became intelligible within a different framework of assumptions. It is not that critics in the 1830s admired different aspects of Hawthorne's work from the ones we admire now, but that the work itself was different. Whatever claims one may or may not wish to make for the ontological sameness of these texts, all of the historical evidence suggests that what Hawthorne's contemporaries saw when they read his work is not what we see now. What I mean can be illustrated further by juxtaposing a piece by Hawthorne criticism written in 1837 with one written a hundred and twenty years later.
In praising Hawthorne's brilliance as a stylist, Andrew Peabody makes the following comment on a phrase from "The Gentle Boy":
These Tales abound with beautiful imagery, sparkling metaphors, novel and brilliant comparisons.... Thus, for instance, an adopted child is spoken of as "a domesticated sunbeam" in the family.... How full of meaning is that simple phrase! How much does it imply, and conjure up of beauty, sweetness, gentleness, and love! How comprehensive, yet how definite! Who, after reading it, can help recurring to it, whenever he sees the sunny happy little face of a father's pride or a mother's joy? 18
No wonder, then, Hawthorne's contemporaries missed the point of his great short stories: they could not possibly have understood him, given the attitudes that must inform effusions such as these. But before dismissing Peabody completely, it is worthwhile asking if there isn't a point of view from which his commentary made good critical sense.
For Peabody, whose critical assumptions privilege the spiritualization of the ordinary and especially of domestic life, the phrase "a domesticated sunbeam" leaps immediately into view. "The Gentle Boy" becomes visible for him from within a structure of norms that nineteenth-century social historians refer to as "the cult of domesticity" and fulfills a definition of poeticity that values fanciful descriptions of commonplace things (Peabody admires Hawthorne's tales because they are "flower-garlands of poetic feeling wreathed around some everyday scene or object").19 These critical precepts intersect with widely held cultural beliefs about the special properties of childhood and the sanctity of the home. The child, in the nineteenth-century American imagination, is a spiritual force that binds the family together so that it becomes the type and cornerstone of national unity, and an earthly semblance of the communion of the saints. 20 Thus the "sunbeam"-associated with nature and with Heaven- "domesticated"-given a familiar human form-really is, in Peabody's terms, "comprehensive" yet "definite." The forms of apprehension that concretize the tale for him flag the phrase as a brilliant embodiment of his critical principles and moral presuppositions...
(In the next section, omitted here, Tompkins analyzes modern commentaries on Hawthorne and their dependence on contemporary beliefs and presuppositions.)
What remains to be explained is why--if it is true that literary texts become visible only from within a particular framework of beliefs--it is always Hawthorne's texts that are the subject of these discussions rather than the texts of other writers. If there were nothing "in" the Twice-Told Tales that commanded critical attention, why has Hawthorne's collection of stories and sketches come down to us rather than Harriet Beecher Stowe's The Mayflower? Wasn't there, right from the beginning, something unique about Hawthorne's prose that marked it as different from and better than the prose of other writers?
One can answer these questions by turning to the contemporary reviews. What the reviews show is that the novels of sentimental writers like Susan Warner and Harriet Beecher Stowe were praised as extravagantly as Hawthorne's and in exactly the same terms. Critics who admired Hawthorne's fondness for "lowly . . . scenes and characters," which they took as a sign of his "sympathy with everything human," also admired Warner's "simple transcript of country life" and "homely circumstances," which portrayed "the ordinary joys and sorrows of our common humanity."'26 They found that Hawthorne's "tales ... are national while they are universal," and that Warner's novels "paint human nature in its American type" and "appeal to universal human sympathy."27 Warner is commended for her remarkable grasp of religious truth, and Hawthorne for his depiction of "spiritual laws" and the "eternal facts of morality."28 Both writers display an extraordinary understanding of the "heart."29
Thus it is not the case that Hawthorne's work from the very first set itself apart from the fiction of his contemporaries; on the contrary, his fiction did not distinguish itself at all clearly from that of the sentimental novelists--whose work we now see as occupying an entirely separate category. This is not because nineteenth-century critics couldn't tell the difference between serious and sentimental fiction, but because their principles of sameness and difference had a different shape. In the 1850s the aesthetic and the didactic, the serious and the sentimental were not opposed but overlapping designations. Thus, the terms "sentimental author" and "genius" were not mutually exclusive, but wholly compatible ways of describing literary excellence. Differences in the way literature is defined necessarily produce differences in the way literary works are classified and evaluated. Thus, if in 1841 Evert Duyckinck, who was arguably the most powerful literary man in New York, regarded "Little Annie's Ramble" as the high-water mark of Hawthorne's achievement, it is no wonder that other critics should subsequently have admired Warner's novel about the tribulations of an orphan girl, and seen both works--moralized pictures of innocent girlhood in a characteristically New England setting--as exemplifying the same virtues.30 Nor is it strange that when Phoebe Pynchon appeared to brighten the old family mansion in Salem, critics praised The House of the Seven Gables because it was full of "tenderness and delicacy of sentiment" with a "moral constantly in view."31 The House of the Seven Gables succeeded in 1851 because it was a sentimental novel; that is, it succeeded not because it escaped or transcended the standards of judgment that made critics admire Warner's work, but because it fulfilled them. To critics who took for granted the moral purity of children, the holiness of the heart's affections, the divinity of nature, and the sanctity of the home, and who conceived of the poet as a prophet who could elevate the soul by "revealing the hidden harmonies of common things," sketches like "Sunday at Home," "Sights from a Steeple," "A Rill from the Town Pump," and novels like The House of the Seven Gables and The Wide, Wide World formed a perfect continuum; it is not that these critics couldn't see the difference between Warner's work and Hawthorne's, but that, given their way of seeing, there was no difference.
This does not mean that antebellum critics made no distinction between various kinds of work, but that their principles of classification produced different groupings from the ones we are used to. The House of the Seven Gables and The Wide, Wide World, for example, were published in the same year as Moby-Dick but whereas today Hawthorne and Melville are constantly seen in terms of one another, contemporary reviews of Hawthorne never even mention Melville's name. While in the 1850s there was no monolithic view of either Hawthorne or Melville, one can easily construct characterizations of their works, based on comments from contemporary reviews, that would place them at opposite ends of the critical spectrum. According to contemporary critics, Hawthorne, like the sentimental novelists, writes a clear, intelligible prose accessible to everyone (a style suitable for artists in a self-consciously democratic nation); he tells stories about recognizable people in humble settings and thus, like the writers of domestic fiction, illuminates the spiritual dimensions of ordinary life; his works like theirs, firmly rooted in Christian precept, serve as reliable guides to the truths of the human heart.32 Melville, on the other hand, whose work is described as being full of stylistic extravagances, bizarre neologisms, and recondite allusions, emerges as a mad obscurantist; his characters inhabit exotic locales and rant incomprehensibly about esoteric philosophical issues; and their ravings verge dangerously and irresponsibly on blasphemy.33 Although many critics admired Melville's daring and considered his work powerful and brilliant, they nevertheless did not describe it in the terms they used to characterize Hawthorne. In their own day, Hawthorne and Melville were admired, when they were admired, for opposite reasons: Hawthorne for his insight into the domestic situation, Melville for his love of the wild and the remote.34
It is easy enough to see that Hawthorne's relation to Melville in the nineteenth century wasn't the same as it is now; and it is easy enough to see that it wasn't the same because the criteria according to which their works were described and evaluated were different and that therefore the works themselves took on a different shape. But what the comparison shows is that the entire situation within which the literary works appeared and within which judgments were made upon them was so different in either case that no element that appeared within these two situations could be the same. Not only is Hawthorne in the 1850s not easily distinguishable from the sentimental novelists, and in most respects quite distinguishable from Melville; not only did antebellum critics have different notions about the nature and function of good literature, prize the domestic affections, and think children were spiritually endowed; more fundamentally, once one has accepted the notion that a literary text exists only within a framework of assumptions which are historically produced, it then becomes clear that the "complex" Hawthorne we study today, the Melville we know as Hawthorne's coconspirator against the pieties of the age, the sentimental novelists we regard as having pandered to a debased popular taste, are not the novelists nineteenth-century readers read and that nineteenth-century critics wrote about. Even when nineteenth- and twentieth-century critics use the same or similar words to describe some element in Hawthorne's work, one can see that what they mean by what they say is not the same thing....
(In the next section, omitted here, Tompkins reviews the process by which Hawthorne's works were canonized through the mid-twentieth century.)
The idea that great literary works are those that stand the test of time might seem at first to have a persuasive force that no amount of argument can dispel. But the moment one starts to investigate the critical history of even a single work, the notion that a classic is a book that outlasts its age becomes extremely problematic. What does it mean to say that The Scarlet Letter stood the test of time and The Wide, Wide World did not? Which test? Or rather, whose? It was the custom house essay and not Hester's story that drew the most unstinting praise from contemporary reviewers of The Scarlet Letter; and it was The Marble Faun that, on the whole, Hawthorne's contemporaries deemed his finest work.73 The reason for this, as I have shown, is that the criteria by which those critics judged Hawthorne were different from ours. Whose criteria then shall constitute the test? Certainly not Longfellow's: his standards belong to the "prose-like-running-waters" school. Henry James's admiration of Hawthorne was highly qualified: he believed The Scarlet Letter inferior to John Lockhart's Adam Blair.74 The Transcendental defense of Hawthorne is not, as I have indicated, one that twentieth-century critics could make. But if we use only modern critical criteria--assuming they could be agreed upon--then The Scarlet Letter would have passed a test, but not the "test of time," since that presumably would have to include the critical judgments of more than one generation. The trouble with the notion that a classic work transcends the limitations of its age and appeals to critics and readers across the centuries is that one discovers, upon investigation, that the grounds of critical approval are always shifting. The Scarlet Letter is a great novel in 1850, in 1876, in 1904, in 1942, and in 1966, but each time it is great for different reasons. In the light of this evidence, it begins to appear that what we have been accustomed to think of as the most enduring work of American literature is not a stable object possessing features of enduring value, but an object that-because of its place within institutional and cultural history-has come to embody successive concepts of literary excellence. This is not to say that The Scarlet Letter is simply an "empty space" or that there is "nothing there"; to put it another way, it is hot to assert that no matter what Hawthorne had written, his work would have succeeded because he had the right connections. The novel. Hawthorne produced in 1850 had a specificity and force within its own context that a different work would not have had. But as the context changed, so did the work embedded in it.
Yet that very description of The Scarlet Letter as a text that invited constant redefinition might be put forward, finally, as the one true basis on which to found its claim to immortality. For the hallmark of the classic work is precisely that it rewards the scrutiny of successive generations of readers, speaking with equal power to people of various persuasions. It is on just this basis, in fact, that one of Hawthorne's critics has explained his critical prominence in recent years. Reviewing Hawthorne criticism for American Literary Scholarship in 1970, Roy Male comments "on the way Hawthorne's work has responded to shifting expectations during the last two decades."
In the fifties it rewarded the explicatory and mythic analyses of the New Critics; in the mid-sixties it survived, at the cost of some diminution, the rigorous inquest of the new historicists and the neo-Freudians; and now his fiction seems more vital than ever for readers aware of new developments in psychology and related fields.75
In a sense, what Roy Male describes here is a capsule version of what I have been describing throughout this essay: namely, the various ways in which Hawthorne's texts have been reinterpreted by critics of various persuasions. What is at issue is how to account for this phenomenon. In Male's view, these successive reinterpretations show that Hawthorne's work is "more vital than ever" because they testify to its capacity to reward a variety of critical approaches, each of which produces only a partial reading of it; the text itself must be deeper and broader than any of its individual concretizations, for there is no other way to explain how the same text could give rise to them all. The notion that the classic text escapes or outlasts history must hold that various attempts to capture it from within history (i.e., from within a particular perspective) are incomplete, for if one of them did succeed completely, not only would interpretation have to stop; it would mean that the classic was not universal but limited, could not speak to people in all times and places, was not, in short, a classic.
But, as I have been suggesting, there is no need to account for the succession of interpretations by positing an ahistorical, transcendent text which calls them forth. History--the succession of cultural formations, social networks, institutional priorities, and critical perspectives--does that, and the readings thus produced are not mere approximations of an ungraspable, transhistorical entity, but a series of completions, wholly adequate to the text which each interpretive framework makes available. In each case, the reading can be accounted for by a series of quite specific, documentable circumstances having to do with publishing practices, pedagogical and critical traditions, economic structures, social networks, and national needs which constitute the text within the framework of a particular disciplinary hermeneutic. The "durability" of the text is not a function of its unique resistance to intellectual obsolescence; for the text, in any describable, documentable sense, is not durable at all. What endures is the literary and cultural tradition that believes in the idea of the classic, and that perpetuates that belief from day to day and from year to year by reading and rereading, publishing and republishing, teaching and recommending for teaching, and writing books and articles about a small group of works whose "durability" is thereby assured.
The fact is that literary classics do not withstand change; rather, they are always registering, or promoting, or retarding alterations in historical conditions as these affect their readers and, especially, the members of the literary establishment. For classic texts, while they may or may not have originally been written by geniuses, have certainly been written and rewritten by the generations of professors and critics who make their living by them. They are the mirrors of culture as culture is interpreted by those who control the literary establishment. Rather than being the repository of eternal truths, they embody the changing interests and beliefs of those people whose place in the cultural hierarchy empowers them to decide which works deserve the name of classic and which do not. For the idea of "the classic" itself is no more universal or interest-free than the situation of those whose business it is to interpret literary works for the general public. It underwrites their claim to be the servants--and not the arbiters--of truth, and disguises the historically conditioned, contingent, and partisan nature of the texts that their modes of construction make visible. The recognition that literary texts are man-made, historically produced objects, whose value has been created and recreated by men and women out of their particular needs, suggests a need to study the interests, institutional practices, and social arrangements that sustain the canon of classic works. It also opens the way for a retrieval of the values and interests embodied in other, non-canonical texts, which the literary establishment responsible for the canon in its present form has--for a variety of reasons--suppressed.
1. Samuel Johnson, Preface to Shakespeare, in The Great Critics, ed. James Harry Smith and Edd Winfield Parks, 3rd ed. (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1951), pp. 114 15. 2. Matthew Arnold, "The Study of Poetry," in Essays in Criticism, Second Series (London: Macmillan, 1958), pp. 2-3; Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, in Lectures and Essays in Criticism, ed. R. H. Super (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962), p. 13; Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Defense of Poetry, in The Great Critics, ed. Smith, pp. 563-64, 575. 3. T. S. Eliot, "What Is Minor Poetry?" in On Poets and Poetry (New York: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1957), pp. 34-51; T. S. Eliot, "What Is a Classic?" in On Poets and Poetry, pp. 52-74. Frank Kermode devotes an entire chapter to Hawthorne's work without ever raising the question of why Hawthorne should be considered a classic author. The Classic: Literary Images of Permanence and Change (New York: Viking, 1975), pp. 90-114. 4. See, for example, Charles Fenno Hoffman, American Monthly Magazine, n.s., 5 (March 1838), pp. 281-83, as reprinted in Hawthorne: The Critical Heritage, ed. Joseph Donald Crowley (New York: Barnes and Noble, Inc., 1970), p. 61; Longfellow, as reprinted in Crowley, pp. 58-59; and Andrew Peabody, Christian Examiner, 25 (November 1838), pp. 182-90, as reprinted m Crowley, pp. 64-65. 5. Major Writers of America, ed. Perry Miller (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962), 6. Graham's Magazine, (May 1842), as reprinted in The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. James A. Harrison (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1902), Xl, p. 105 7. Godey's Lady's Book (November 1847), as reprinted in Harrison, XlIl, pp. 154-55. 8. "Hawthorne and His Mosses," in The Works of Herman Melville, ed. Raymond Weaver (London: Constable & Co., 1922), Xlil, pp. 123-43 9. The Works of Melville, pp. 136,131,127,125. 10. Peabody, as reprinted in Hawthorne, ed. Crowley, p. 66 11. For an excellent discussion of the cult of domesticity, see Kathryn Kish Sklar, Catherine Beecher, A Study in American Domesticity (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1976), pp. 151-67 Peabody, as reprinted in Hawthorne, ed. Crowley, p. 64. 12. See Bemard Wishy, The Cht'ld and the Republic (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1968). 13. Samuel W. S. Dutton, "Nathaniel Hawthorne," New Englander, 5 January 1847), pp. 56-69, as reprinted in Hawthorne, ed. Crowley, p. 138; Carolyn Kirkland, "Novels and Novelists," North American Review, 76 (1853), p. 114. See also two reviews of Queechy, one from Tait's Magazine, the other from the New York Evening Post, reprinted in Littel's Living Age, 34 July-September 1852), pp. 57- 58. 14. Henry F. Chorley, in a review of The Blithedale Romance, Athenaeum, 10 July 1852), pp. 741-43, as reprinted in Hawthorne, ed. Crowley, p. 247 (the remark is typical); Kirkland, p. 121. 15. Kirkland, p. 121; the Literary World, 7 (December 1850), p. 525; Amory Dwight Mayo "The Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne," Universalist Quarterly, 8 July 1851), pp. 272-93, as reprinted in Hawthorne, ed. Crowley, pp. 219, 223. 16. Kirkland, p. 221. Most of Hawthorne's reviewers make this point in one way or another. 17. Evert Augustus Duyckinck, Arcturus, I January 1841), pp. 125- 26, as quoted in Faust, pp. 37-38. 18. Evert Augustus Duyckinck, the Likrary World, 8 (April 1851), pp. 334-35, as reprinted in Hawthorne, ed. Crowley, p. 194; an unsigned review in the Christian Examiner, 50 (May 1851 ) pp. 508-09, as reprinted in Crowley, p. 195. 19. These characterizations of Hawthorne are drawn from reviews by Edgar Allan Poe Anne W. Abbott, Rufus Griswold, Henry Tuckerman, E. P. Whipple, R. H. Stoddard, Samuei W. S. Dutton, Evert Duyckinck, Charles Wilkins Webber, Amory Dwight Mayo, and George Loring. All were reprinted in Hawthorne, ed. Crowley. 20. These characterizations of Melville came from reviews in The Spectator, the Boston Post the Literary World, the DemocraticReview, the London NewMonthlyMagazine, the Southan Quartaly, the Albion, the Atlas, the Athenaeum, Today, and Petersen's Magazine, as cited by Hugh Hetherington, "Early Reviews of Moby-Dick," in Moby-Dick Centennial Essays, ed. Tyrus Hillway and Luther S. Mansfield (Dallas: Southem Methodist University Press, 1953), pp. 89 21. Though critics used the terms "original" and "deep" to praise both writers, Hawthorne's reviewers liked to characterize him as "gentle," "tasteful," "quiet," "delicate," "subtle," "graceful," and "exquisite," while Melville's admirers constantly used words such as "racy," "wild," "extravagant," "brilliant," "eccentric," "outrageous," and "thrilling." 22. Bertha Faust, Hawthorne's Contemporaneous Reputation: A Study of Literary Opinion in Amaica and England, 1828-1864 (New York, 1968), p. 72, Hawthorne, ed. Crowley, p. 21; Faust, 23. Henry James, Hawthorne (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1956), pp. 90-92 24. Roy R Male, in American Literary Scholarship, An Annual, 1969 (Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1971), pp. 19-20.
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