Nathaniel Hawthorne

Literary Birthday – 4 July – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born 4 July 1804, and died 19 May 1864.

Nine Quotes

  1. Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
  2. Easy reading is damn hard writing.
  3. Nobody, I think, ought to read poetry, or look at pictures or statues, who cannot find a great deal more in them than the poet or artist has actually expressed. Their highest merit is suggestiveness.
  4. The only sensible ends of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of one’s family and friends; and lastly, the solid cash.
  5. What we call real estate – the solid ground to build a house on – is the broad foundation on which nearly all the guilt of this world rests.
  6. It is very queer, but not the less true, that people are generally quite as vain, or even more so, of their deficiencies than of their available gifts.
  7. No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.
  8. We men of study, whose heads are in our books, have need to be straightly looked after! We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.
  9. A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for writing The Scarlet Letter. Along with Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe, Hawthorne’s work belongs to the sub-genre of Dark Romanticism. The genre has an emphasis on human fallibility where lapses in judgement allow men and women to drift toward self-destruction.

Source for Image: By Mathew Benjamin Brady – Library of Congress, Public Domain,,_1860-64.jpg

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 4th July 2013