Jun. 25th, 2003

darkest_light: (transcendental love)
I ran across this yesterday in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of American Writers, in the entry on Herman Melville:

"In 1850 he bought a farm, 'Arrowhead,' near Nathaniel Hawthorne's home at Pittsfield, Mass. Their initially close relationship reanimated Melville's creative energies. On his side, it was dependent, almost mystically intense, but to the cooler, withdrawn Hawthorne, such depth of feeling so openly declared was uncongenial, and the two men drew apart."

Seriously, I am thinking about a day trip to Pittsfield and Lenox (6 miles away, where Hawthorne was living c. 1850) sometime next semester. It would be fun, and the tour guides may be able to help solve the Melville/Hawthorne mystery, or at least point out a good place to look for more information. At this point it's looking like to me like a passionate friendship, and it's interesting that it was mostly on Melville's side--it isn't mentioned in the Hawthorne entry at all (but it had a more profound affect on Melville because Hawthorne, 15 years older, influenced Moby Dick dramatically, while Melville had next to no affect on Hawthorne's style).

(Also, The Mount is in Lenox and I haven't been there since they finished the restoration...)


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July 2003

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