The Manhattan Project: A Documentary Introduction to the Atomic Age yNote March 17 2018 I edited this again slightly just to change the formatting of a long uotationNote May 14 2016 I edited this review just now to make a slight factual correctionDuring the Salem witch hysteria of 1692 when real life accused witch Sarah Good was about to hanged she pointed at one of the witch hunters Rev Nathaniel Noyes who was looking on approvingly and shouted I m no a witch thanou are and if The Propaganda Bureau you murder me God will giveou blood to drink an allusion to Revelation 166 Years later Noyes suffered a throat aneurism and did die literally drinking his own blood a fact that wasn t lost on the keepers of New England s traditionsNathaniel Hawthorne was born and raised in Salem and lived there much of his adult life a descendant of the Judge Hathorne who was one of the judges in the witch trials and the only one who never repented of it later The author added the w to his own name to disassociate himself from the judge and other ancestors who persecuted uakers etc His family heritage and the intellectual debates taking place in the New England of his formative ears over the region s inherited Calvinist orthodoxy prompted him to give a lot of serious attention to uestions of predestination original sin and inherited guilt The House of the Seven Gables can be seen as his most direct literary exploration of these themes It opens with a recap of the scene described above but with the names and in the case of the witch the gender changed but it then telescopes time so that Col Pyncheon dies of a throat aneurism soon afterwards on the day of the planned house warming for the great seven gabled mansion he s built on the land he railroaded Matthew Maule to execution in order to steal That house is a real structure in Salem and still stands today though the Pyncheons are fictitious Hawthorne then skips down to his own time while noting that the intervening generations of Pyncheons have shared their ancestor s nasty personality and often his mode of death bloody aneurisms have run in the family But not all Pyncheons share the family s legacy of greedy selfishness Clifford Hephzibah and Phoebe are decent people despite being Pyncheons because they ve made their own choices in life as to what kind of people they d become for them inheritance wasn t destiny and therein lies Hawthorne s major point Like Hawthorne himself an Arminian Christian who repudiated the moral outrages his family once stood for they ve exercised their free will to choose good over evil Not everybody does that but everybody can do it and has a moral responsibility to do it a view totally opposite to both Calvinist predestinarianism and modern chemicalsocial determinism In his narrative voice Hawthorne addresses Judge Pyncheon with the clear language of personal moral responsibility and choice Rise up thou subtle worldly selfish ironhearted hypocrite and make thy choice whether still to be subtle worldly selfish ironhearted and hypocritical or to tear these sins out of thy nature though they bring the lifeblood with them The Avenger is upon thee Rise up before it is too lateBoth of my Goodreads friends who ve reviewed this novel consider it inferior to The Scarlet Letter I ll concede that point its plot doesn t have the dramatic tension of the latter though it has some It s not as strong in that regard as the author s less well known novels The Blithedale Romance and The Marble Faun either But it has its appeal nonetheless it s perhaps the most Gothic of Hawthorne s novels and it s message driven without losing sight of the very real often poignant human story it s tellingHawthorne s ornate 19th century diction isn t problematic to me but will be a bane to many modern readers That s a matter of misguided self conditioning and prejudice in most cases though IMO Contrary to what many modern readers automatically assume expanding one s vocabulary and being able to decipher complex sentences doesn t take being born with some kind of genius level I it only takes patience application and motivation and I think the pay off is worth itNote 1 Joseph Schwartz s Nathaniel Hawthorne 1804 1864 God and Man in New England contained in American Classics Reconsidered A Christian Appraisal provides an excellent treatment of Hawthorne s often misunderstood religious thoughtNote 2 The 1940 movie adaptation starring Vincent Price as Clifford does not follow the novel very closely big surprise coming from Hollywood NOT Among other things the scriptwriters made Hephzibah his love interest rather than his sister Note 3 Though I ve read this book at least twice originally as a teen I ve never read it in the edition above The one I own and most recently read has no supplementary material except a good short biography of Hawthorne and a brief Forward and Afterword all by Andre Norton This narrative published in 1850 starts with
a preface by Hawthone explaining his concept of the Romance which is to preface by Hawthone explaining his concept of the Romance which is to distinguished from the Novel because it provides the writer with greater latitude to takes risks The Novel is somehow straightforward conservative less flexible as a vehicle for experimentationThe first chapter gives us the backstory in a kind of lump sum Most contemporary novelists probably write such a backstory but often cut it since lacking action and character it can seem too schematic and impersonal Hawthorne s backstory is perhaps no exception But it has the virtue of being 160 ears old and that combined with its antiuated vocabulary deftly wielded combines to hook the reader The backstory spills all the beans of this fantastic narrative including the heinous crime the resulting curse the astonishing event at the housewarming and the collective guilt that is said to course through each suceeding generation of the Pyncheon familyWhen we reach the action of the present day it s a particularly low moment in the Pyncheon family s fortunes Hepzibah the permanently scowling seemingly sole survivor of the line is forced to open what was at the time known as a cent shop in a corner of the grand though decaying house There s nerve wracking suspense here Hawthorne seems to wring it from every word His mode
of storytelling is simultaneously achingly and beautifully slow There s one scene for example in which he lingers over storytelling is simultaneously achingly and beautifully slow There s one scene for example in which he lingers over simple breakfast Each item seems lovingly revealed there s a sumptuousness to the language that seems to belie the meal s simplicity The gaze throughout smacks of the voyeuristic as if the dead who are no longer permitted such pleasures were narratingThe narrative is marked by a number of oppositions in terms of imagery gloom and sunshine animal and spiritual age and outh ugliness and beauty exhaustion and vitality Clifford embodies many of these He is put forth as the spoiled and decadent figure and symbol of the family s fortunes He is obviously homosexual something Hawthorne working in the era he did could only vaguely touch upon Yet in the end he is mindful enough to turn this clich on its head For Clifford it turns out is not the symbol of the decaying family but an individual just one from whose shoulders at the end of the book all unfair connotation seems justly liftedClifford has an artist s sensibility without the artistry He is a dilettante The Daguerrotypist who lives beneath one of the House s gables is referred to as the artist The contrast is intentional The fellow with the so called artistic sensibilities is not an artist at all but one who
Makes His Living From his living from simple mechanical process Clifford by contrast lives for beauty It infuses his every happy moment Without it he is corpse like almost inert 4 stars for first read 35 for secondIn late September I toured the House of the Seven Gables in Salem Massachusetts Our guide a knowledgeable and entertainingly wry oung man spoke of two additions made to the house after the woman who bought it decided to turn it into a tourist attraction a room to emulate Hepzibah s little shop and a secret stairway not mentioned in the text that Clifford must ve used to be able to suddenly appear the way he does The latter intrigued me since I didn t remember anything along those lines so I decided upon a rereadAs I got further into it I realized only the beginning seemed familiar and I started to wonder if perhaps I hadn t finished the book that first time though that didn t seem right either Perhaps it s just that the beginning with its legend of the Pyncheons and the Maules and then its description of poor Hepzibah setting up shop are still the most memorable scenes The middle is a lengthy setting the stage for a rather anticlimactic denouement completed with perfunctory explanations some of which is apparently known of due to mesmerism I understand why I remember liking it the first time I read it as at times I felt that same frisson of gothic ness I felt while reading We Have Always Lived in the Castle Our guide had mentioned he d read the book numerous times adding in a hushed tone that it wasn t all that great apologizing when I told him I d read it I think I also reread this to prove him wrong but I m unable to do so The main feeling I ve come away with that Hawthorne struggled with inherited guilt due to the actions of his ancestor a hanging judge presiding over the witch trials is what I discerned in that brilliant beginning And what of Clifford s mysterious appearances There s really only one but it is an important one and a bit later there s the mention of another relative having had secret access. The sins of one generation are visited upon another in a haunted New England mansion until the arrival of a oung woman from the coun. .
Massachusetts built in 1668 by sea captain and merchant John Turnerbuilt in 1668 by sea captain and merchant John Turner Hawthorne 1804 1864 lived in Salem His cousin Susanna Ingersoll was at this time the house s owner and Hawthorne visited her there Hawthorne has imagined a fictional family the Pyncheons He has drawn a gothic story about them their lives and this house In the tale Colonel Pyncheon has the house built by carpenter Matthew Maule A legal dispute arises deeds are lost thereafter follow gruesome deaths and talk of the supernatural Who has the right to live there This information sets the stage Only thereafter does the story really begin two centuries later in the 1850sWe meet five Pyncheon descendants Hepzibah Phoebe Clifford Venner and Judge Jaffrey as well as Holgrave the daguerrotypist and Ned Higgins a child fond of gingerbread cookies Through flashbacks we learn about the interim ears and come to meet Alice and Gervayse Pyncheon as well as the grandson of Matthew MauleThe introductory section the first six chapters does not live and breathe we are being told of previous events The chapters serve as the background to the story that is to unfold the story set in the 1850s The author is our narrator he interrupts explains
and voices his opinion on events He is philosophical he has a message to deliver Hevoices his opinion on events He is philosophical he has a message to deliver He longwinded The views expressed are at times difficult to get through perplexing abstruse wordy and overblown As the story picks up speed humor dialogs and lines of lyrical beauty make the prose lighter and easier to absorb Here follow three examples of lines I like and I love to watch how the day tired as it is lags away reluctantly and hates to be called esterday so soon the summer eve might be fancied as sprinkling dews and liuid moonlight which contrasts with the clamor of the wind through the lonely house Hawthorne has a knack for creating the feeling of a place of the pervading atmosphere Humor revolves around the family s chickens and that child in love with gingerbread cookies I even found myself enjoying some of the shorter lines of philosophical bent A man s bewilderment is a measure of his wisdom Life is made up of marble and mud Nothing gives a sadder sense of decay than this loss or suspension of the power to deal with unaccustomed things and to keep up with the swiftness of the passing moment Ambition is a powerful talisman than witchcraft Very much a Gothic novel a sense of gloom and disaster begins to permeate the tone of the novel A sense of impending doom builds a doom tied to the relentless manner by which
The Wrongdoings Of One Generation Inexorably Shape The Doings Ofwrongdoings of one generation inexorably shape the doings of next It is this that is scary In Hawthorne s words The past is but a coarse and sensual prophecy of the present and the future What slaves we are to bygone times He asks Shall we never get rid of the past Then he remonstrates We are not doomed to creep on in the old ways Clearly Hawthorne is saying we must break free from the past The uestion is if the characters will have the strength to do this It is this that the book asksMany state that it is difficult to read Hawthorne s prose In parts it is wordy but not in all It is for this reason I have included uotes They are my proof I grew to like the prose style when it lightens up a bit once the story picks up after the tedious start But then came the ending which I absolutely detested It destroyed everything for me So damn gimmicky so clash bang boom I d have to admit that many Gothic novels do end in such a manner but I was mistakenly thinking wow here is a great Gothic novel that exhibits discernment and intelligence Dear Hawthorne it is not always necessary to end with a splash view spoilerWhere the deed was hidden and that silly spring on the portrait and the need to clear Clifford s name and the rush to solve everything in a jiffy to smack on a sweet and tidy ending all of this hide spoiler OHMYFREAKIN GAWDWhy the hell did I pick this up again Life s too short ou say You have 200 other books on Riders of the Sea your to read shelf and this was suckingour will to read Give it up You re right all of it and my answer is my excuse being because I m freakin stubborn Its Hawthorne I mean how much New Englandy can Jewish Women Speak About Jewish Matters you get I couldn t just give up I d be betraying my countryman Whatever For a fewears in my ounger days I worked down the street from the House of the Seven Gables and I d always get this literary stab of guilt for not having read it I d never fully look it in the eye feeling the shame wash over Try breathes new air into mouldering lives and rooms Written shortly after The Scarlet Letter The House of the Seven Gables re addres.
Summary The House of the Seven GablesE Its judgmental gables peeking out at me while I d sit by the lighthouse eating lunch I want it all back All those ears of remorse I could definitely put it to better use And The TV Writer's Workbook: A Creative Approach To Television Scripts you know what It s not such a bad story really It s got murder witchcraft a creepy house a curse a spinster and her childlike convict brother some mystery hottie and a fair maiden You throw in an organ grinder and some insolent chickens andou ve got the making of a great short story See there What I did I said short story But what Hawthorne does and what irritates the fuck out of me is draw out the narrative and then draw it out some It gets to the point where NV Level 3 Health and Social Care you read me throw the damn book down cursing and feeling likeou ve just been scolded by Writing in the Dust: After September 11 your high school english teacher for not appreciating its nuances Ugh Double frickin UGHExample Do I really need 8 pages describing the gardens Or does he really feel he s being clever when he writes 18 pages playing out the death of one of the characters oops spoiler my bad I get itha haer just full o wit there NateI will say that there was one little salacious scene that had me all a twitter and thinking that I might see some girl on old decrepit man action On Clifford s part it was the feeling of a man naturally endowed with the liveliest sensibility to feminine influence but who had never uaffed the cup of passionate love and knew that it was now too late He knew it with the instinctive delicacy that had survived his intellectual decay Thus his sentiment for Phoebe without being paternal was not less chaste than if she had been his daughter He was a man it is true and recognized her as a woman She was his only representative of womankind He took unfailing note of every charm that appertained to her sex and saw the ripeness of her lips and the virginal development of her bosom All her little womanly ways budding out of her like blossoms on a Engine Performance Diagnostics young fruit tree had their effect on him and sometimes cause his very heart to tingle with the keenest thrills of pleasure I think Nate was dipping into Fanny Hill hoping to uaff his own cup a bit but I was bored and of course picked up on this Maybe I ve just read too much Maybe I m just expecting too much I ve said before I grew up on Hungry Mans and the advent of the remote control Don t pussy foot around Give me what I want and give it to me now Okay This is the worst book ever written in the English language that is somehow celebrated against far superior novels from the same era somehow earning him enough respect to have his crusty face emblazoned onto the Library of CongressIf the story were to take place in modern day Atlanta it would be about some inbred old money steel magnolia losing her shit up in Buckhead and dragging her family down with her while she suanders what little remains of their inheritance on palm readers and telemarketers Throw in the distant trailer trash relative from Woodstock a bum selling Cutco knives the Gulf War Syndrome addled veteran brother and Wayne Mason Besides waiting for people to stop talking and describing things the rest of the plot centers around walking around the house and hearing the characters complain about their lack of money and prestigeYou take that story rewind it about 175ears add some baroue embellishment to every sentence ou write using the exclamation mark liberally and ou ve got THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLESI always imagine Nathaniel Hawthorne as being the trust fund baby of his time Having bored himself on sherry and biscuits How exhausting decides to forgo taking care of his plants and retire to his study to pen a novel for us He s like the writer of today who leaves his meditation room hops in his Mercedes Benz to the nearest Applebee s and scrawls another Zen and business book on a cocktail napkin turning 50 pages of bullshit into 198 in 14 point San Serif font that every pink bubble faced middle manager is going to have on their office shelf by the end of the week Nathaniel Hawthorne was that guy in his dayWhy does he get praise for this crap I think saying that there are dark psychological themes throughout is a nice way of saying having read this I couldn t decide if I should use the hose to pipe carbon monoxide into my house or to hang myself oh bother there s another page The only interpretation I have is that his contemporaries just wanted to be nice to him and gentleman like encouraging him every now and then but for the most part trying to ignore him in the hopes he d find a different hobby to harp about Fast forward and everyone s like Damn he must be good and for lack of imagination or god forbid actually reading the damn book to see if it s any good it s going to appear on every high school student s summer reading list until the end of A clueless
Group Here In Goodreadscom Made This Thishere in goodreadscom made this book of the month read under the Horror genre when there is no horror in it The author called it instead a Romance but there is no romance in it either except a brief declaration of love for each other of two protagonists towards the end with all its unmistakable phoniness How can ou love a simple girl like me Duh all men profess to love simple girlsThis is actually a sex book written under the atmosphere of sexual repression during the mid 19th centuryThere is this big old house with seven gables of
Course Which Has Awhich has a past that can be traced back to a hundred or so ears Displayed i I have read and re read this many times the act of the passing generation is the germ which may and must produce good or evil fruit in a far distant time Thus speaks Hawthorne in the course of his book and to a large extent this summarises the theme and plot of the storyThe book is a natural progression from his previous work The Scarlet Letter almost an updated by 150 200 ears seuel to it Hawthorne began it a mere 6 months after the publication of The Scarlet Letter Here he shows what happens as the seeds of the Salem type of puritanism germinate throughout the generations in this case through the Pyncheon family lineMy relationship with this book goes back a very long way I bought it as a boy in a village jumble sale do they have such things any determined to read it Not surprisingly I struggled but with the aid of a dictionary and taking it slowly I managed to read it through I ve been hooked on it ever since returning to it often and to my beloved Nathaniel HawthorneAs a boy I could identify with the characters who people the book and especially the reclusive Miss Hepzibah Pyncheon She was for me my widowed grandmother with whom I spent a great deal of time Like Hepzibah she had virtually retired from the world in her case on the early death of my grandfather She rarely went out of doors Her arthritis which had painfully and cruelly deformed her limbs would have made this difficult anyway Like Hepzibah too she could scowl But as in the case of the former this was freuently misinterpreted Both women were short sighted and lovely with it My grandmother s house too whilst lacking the dimensions of Hepzibah s had been the family home for 3 or 4 generations There was a shop attached to it too where my father plied his trade the same as his father grandfather and great grandfather before him The idea of my grandmother crossing its threshold as Hepzibah did in order to eke out a living selling a few sweets filled me with horror not for snobbish reasons after all we were a family of shopkeepers but my grandmother was painfully shyAt the risk of over egging the pudding no pun intended my grandmother had a large garden somewhat neglected like Hepzibah s and here my father kept a few chickens The book is altogether very personal for me and I have returned to it almost my childhood home many times I sense it is very autobiographical for Hawthorne too who as a oung man adolescent shut himself up in his room for some The Tale of Atterberry The Faire Pendant Series years possibly with a guilty secret Hawthorne is uite particular in labelling this book a romance rather than a novel and this gives him lee way for his mirage style of story telling so we re never uite sure whether what he tells us is sheer fantasy fact or a mixture of both This romance is about sunshine and shadow sadness and joy laughter and tears age and the future The book will also focus on double standards and false values and justice which Hawthorne is expert in examiningHere s a taster or two Stay a moment ifou please Said the Judge again beaming sunshine out of his face But appearances can be deceptive as a page or so later his expression has momentarily changed To know Judge Pyncheon was to see him at that moment After such a revelation let him smile with what sultriness he would he could much sooner turn grapes purple or pumpkins HERBALISM WORLD: This book includes: yellow than melt the iron branded impression out of the beholder s memory Hepzibah s brother Clifford to his sister We are ghosts We have no right amongst human beings no right anywhere but in this old house which has a curse on it and which therefore we are doomed to hauntIt is an ugly thought that I should be frightful to my fellow beings and that children would cling to their mother s gowns at sight of me I spoke of sunshine and shadow Here as the book nears its close an old character much loved by the Pyncheons who spoke often of retiring to his farm the work house says But I suppose I am like a Roxbury Russet a great deal the better the longer I can be kept I guess this is much too personal to be an objective review but what the Hell I love this book. Ses the theme of human guilt in a style remarkable in both its descriptive virtuosity and its truly modern mix of fantasy and realism.